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20 Years, 20 Lessons, I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 Years Old

Today I am sharing a moment of pause and reflection with you. This year I have reached a milestone; 20 years in my own business as an Executive Coach and Leadership Facilitator, preceded by 15 years in people-centric roles in professional and financial services.

As I reflect on my working life and a variety of experiences, I have been thinking about the lessons I have learned, some of which I wish I had known when I was 20 years old when I started out!

And yet it is the discovery of these lessons which helped me grow and develop the most and into the person I am today. I am grateful to the many leaders, mentors, colleagues, teachers, and friends who have been part of my learning journey. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Treat others as they want to be treated, with respect and honouring their dignity

2. Listen to others free from interruption and judgement

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” ― The Dalai Lama

3. Encourage others to think as themselves, for themselves

4. Always look for the goodness in others

5. Celebrate what is right with the world

6. Go to the edge of your comfort zone where you’ll find the most growth

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” ― Anthony J. D’Angelo

7. Align your behaviour to what’s important to you; your values

8. Listen to the perspective of others to widen your own and connect more deeply with another

9. Do what energises and strengthens you as a person

10. Lift others up, appreciating their positive qualities

“The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.” ― Maya Angelou

11. Create a sense of hope for yourself and others

12. Be self-aware and recognise the profound impact you have on the lives of others

13. Be wise with your words; our language creates our reality

14. Create and pursue personal development stretch goals

15. Hold yourself accountable for accomplishing what you set out to

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” ― Les Brown

16. Don’t beat yourself up! If things don’t work out, look at the lesson within

17. Apply what you learn regularly

18. Ask for help, especially in doing the things that de-energise you

19. Invest in mentoring for yourself and become a mentor for another

20. Adopt an attitude of gratitude

I wonder, what lessons have you learned along the journey of your professional life?

Thank you for listening!

If you have found this blog post of value and if you think others would benefit, please share it. Connect with me on LinkedIn or simply get in touch with me.


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Jane Adshead-Grant
Jane Adshead-Granthttps://janeadsheadgrant.com/
Jane is a listening and people leadership specialist. She helps individuals develop their leadership gifts and skills with compassion, courage, and commitment to foster environments where everybody matters. Her gifts are to encourage and to listen. Listen free from interruption and judgement, encouraging others to step into who they were meant to be. She has more than 30 years’ experience in people-focused roles in the corporate environment. Jane is an MCC coach with the ICF, Accredited Coach, Facilitator, and Teacher of the Thinking Environmentâ and Ambassador of Truly Human Leadership. Additionally, she is the author of Are you Listening or Just Waiting to Speak?

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