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50 Things I’ve Learnt About Life And Leadership 1974-2024


Turning 50 in early 2024 has been a good time to reflect and take stock.

I started by taking 50 days off.

Soon, I noticed that if you take the number 50 and curve the 5 a little, it makes the word: “SO?”.

So you’re 50?

So what?

So what do you believe?

One of the events I reflect on in my 50 years is the passing of my father in 2019. In Roger’s last two years we knew his diagnosis and prognosis, so we took time to talk deeply. One of the questions I asked him at the end of life, was “What are your principles that you’d share with your grandkids?”

His reply was very simple: “Treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself”.

On the other hand, I’d seen people write great treatise on their beliefs. For example, Ray Dalio’s 2 volumes called Principles. One volume for business, and one for life.


So I thought I’d get ahead of the game - hopefully by a few decades - and start to capture some of my principles and beliefs. It’s been a valuable process to get them out of my head and onto paper.

Around half of them are around life, and half are around leadership.

There are in fact 52, not 50. I wrote more, and then culled some, but I liked these 52, so I kept the extra two.

I hope there are 1 or 2 in here that make you think about what you believe, and what you should share with people – your friends, grandkids, people you meet.

In fact, I’d like to know what you truly believe. Write me and share some with me.

I might even adopt them for my next version when I’m 60, if you don’t mind.


A selected few 

Here are the first 10 to whet your appetite. Let me know what you think and download the other 40 on the button above. 

On life

  1. Get to know your own values. Write them down. Use them in your life decisions.

  2. Ask more questions – people like to talk about themselves, so if you are curious about others then you will make friends

  3. When you’re feeling emotional, angry or frustrated – ask “what would my ideal self do?” before saying or doing anything

  4. When parking a car, think about other people. Never park across 2 spaces.

  5. When it comes to money, base your career decisions on the minimum amount you need to live comfortably, not the maximum amount you could earn.

  6. Pick a career that suits your strengths and matches your values.

  7. Focus on your similarities to other people, not your differences.

  8. Always make sure you introduce people at parties and meetings.

  9. Design your life, don’t leave it to chance. Every year, sit down and make a plan for the year ahead which includes, health, family, holidays, experience – not just work.

  10. There are 3 levels of happiness. The lowest level is day to day enjoyment of your life. The middle level is general life satisfaction with your relationships, career, health. The highest level is finding meaning and purpose in your life.


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