man holding sign that reads no regrets

Coming off a long weekend celebrating Thanksgiving here in Canada, my heart is full of gratitude.  For so much really. 

This year has been a whirlwind of change, entering a new chapter in my life, letting go, learning, expanding, sharing, growing and so much more.

It’s been transformational, to say the least, and continues to be – and with no regrets.

The learning part is ongoing of course and for me, it will be a lifelong journey for this student of life.  Long weekends like this, I usually like to catch up on my reading and I happen to wrap up Marie Forleo’s Everything Is Figureoutable book which I absolutely loved! 

Not only is it full of nuggets of wisdom, but it’s packed with personal stories of everyday people overcoming triumphs and (including Marie) hardship, and sharing practical solutions that we can ALL use in our daily life to overcome just about anything. 

Much of the concepts and ideas are backed by research that validates how our thoughts shape our beliefs which dictates our daily behaviors.  It’s a book on optimism and training your brain to think more creatively and positively, especially when faced with a setback.

In the book, Marie highlights a former nurse, Bronnie Ware who wrote The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.  A title like that kinda stops you in your tracks doesn’t it?  I mean, unless we’ve experienced death before, I’m guessing we can learn a lot from someone who’s about to take their last breath and seize life – every single day we have.  Or so I hope.

The book highlights the most common regrets expressed to her by those she cared for in palliative care.  The top regret of them all was:

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

First, you might be thinking – “wow” and you might also say to me, “Lisa, what the heck does this have to do with me as a leader and my business?” I’ll tell you in a second.

The other regrets in order are:

“I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

“I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

“I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

“I wish I had let myself be happier.”

So, I thought about my own life and corporate and what these top regrets would look like in the world of business.  As a leader, how might you look at these regrets and consider your own life?  Your own business?

These are regrets, we can ALL see ourselves in no matter where we’re at in our lives and what role or position we hold. Personal or business, which by now you know I always say, they’re not separate since we all just have one life. 

If we’re living a life that’s not true to who we are among other things, it’s easy to get swept into a flurry of regret and a case of “could’a,” “would’a,” “should’a.”

As the leader of your organization, you are leading the pack and direction of your business every single day.  You have the opportunity to create change, influence direction, and expansion, foster growth, inspire your people in ways beyond just coming up with a great business idea, but by taking chances.  By being human and demonstrating what this looks like every day.

The future of corporate will shift because of those leaders who dared to lead with a more compassionate, human side that was about people first and still lead a thriving, growing and successful business.

The choice is always there, you just have to take it.  Don’t let any of these regrets be you today or tomorrow.  Don’t be the CEO or leader that says, “I wish I…” Don’t hold back from showing up as the leader you can be for fear of being judged, criticized or failing.

Dare to lead and create the business and culture you want to live every day.  BE different.  LEAD differently.  Take chances and create a business you can grow with your biggest asset at the center of it – your people.


  • Lisa De Nicola

    Leadership Coach & Corporate Consultant

    Lisa De Nicola, ICF

    Lisa De Nicola is an Intuitive Leadership Coach and a 'go-to' dedicated to helping businesses bring out the essence of their biggest resource - their people. She partners with leaders to help them lead more authentically, bring meaning back to their business and be inspired by life. Lisa brings 15 + years of experience working in the world of talent for multi-national, global organizations sharing knowledge, spiritual tools and practices and business insights to high achievers looking to transform the way they lead from the inside out. She writes on business topics related to workplace culture, leadership and the employee experience to name a few, as well as personal development. She has contributed to publications such as CEO World Magazine, Positively Positive and Business2Community.