Impact Americas' Senior Consultant Joey D'Addeo has worked with Fortune 500 firms as a performance consultant and executive coach for 20 years. Below he shares his advice to his younger self, to his 9-year-old self to be exact!
I decided on myself at 9 years old because this is an age you’ve yet to cement any ‘nots’ in your brain. For example, I’m not good at this; I’m not good at that. This is an ideal age to access your true self and I believe your innocence, wisdom and confidence make you a powerful person to learn from.
The first thing I would do is force myself to ask questions and not give advice. I think there is loads this 9-year-old knows that I could be reminded of.
The questions I would ask:
1. Who do you really want to be?
2. How do you want to treat people?
3. What do you want to accomplish?
I would be intensely disciplined not to give advice. If I really had the opportunity and could prepare, I would engage him as a learner, not a mentor. I think it would be so interesting to get his insight and absorb his perspective.
At some point I would break and the advice I would give would be twofold:
1. Keep it real, make it matter: this coincidentally is my 6-word “Hemmingway” or leadership story. I suspect, in his own way, my 9-year-old self would affirm this as accurate and reflective of our values.
2. Time is so precious, please make the most it by remembering the answers to the 3 questions I just asked.
How cool would that be?