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Ten 'To-Dos' for People Under 30

November 14, 2009

Last weekend, we took a look at management guru Jim Collins's recipe for greatness in tough times. Today, we've got his ten "to-do's" for people under thirty, which Collins shared with the audience during his Drucker Centennial Day keynoter at Claremont University earlier this month.

For what it's worth, I'm not entirely sure what #1 and #4 mean, I love #5 through #8, and I'm still trying to decide whether #10, should it come to pass, would be a blessing or a curse. Then again, the last time I was under thirty a gallon of gas cost .89, you could still smoke on a plane or in a restaurant, and everyone had really bad hair. Go figure.

  1. Build a personal board of directors.
  2. Turn off your electronic gadgets -- not for others but for yourself.
  3. Study yourself like a bug -- without judgment.
  4. Calculate your questions-to-statements ratio and try to double it.
  5. Imagine you had $20 million to spend and a terminal disease -- what would be on your "stop-doing" list?
  6. Stop doing your "stop-doing" list.
  7. Unplug the opportunities that distract you.
  8. Find something for which you have so much passion that you are willing to endure the pain.
  9. Articulate the values for which you will not compromise.
  10. Prepare to live a life where at age 65 you are one-third of the way through your work.

What's you advice for people under thirty? Inquiring minds want to know...

-- Mitch Nauffts

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Posted by Nell  |   November 24, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Only advice for others under 30 as I watch my last year on this side of things fly by:

Stop counting!

Posted by Cheryl Mahoney  |   December 18, 2009 at 01:02 PM

I have to agree--I love #5 - #8, especially #8. What would the world look like if all of us--under thirty or not--found the things we really have a passion for, and then went after them? Whether that's volunteering in Africa, writing a novel, becoming a CPA or starting a big hair band...I think it would end up making a huge positive difference in the world.

Many people would seek something that has a directly beneficial impact on the community, and even for those whose choice seems to be more indirectly positive, I think they'd be ultimately serving the community too. I believe there's something we're each meant to do, and the positivity of living the life and doing the things you're passionate about has to spill out to the people around you...and the people around them...and on and on.

One of my favorite quotes reads, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." (Harold Whitman)

Thanks for launching this fascinating discussion!

Cheryl Mahoney

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