7 Management and Leadership Mistakes that Almost Cost Me My Life - Josie Tong

7 Management and Leadership Mistakes that Almost Cost Me My Life

What would you tell your younger self?

Wish you had spent more time with the kids?

Wish you took that job offer?

Wish you said no to that project that cost you the weekend?

Wish you didn’t waste your 20s and 30s doing something that you’ll later regret?

What if you could go flash forward to 20 – 30 years later and look back and give your current self the right advice so that you don’t make mistakes you will later regret.

Well, that’s what I’m doing here for you.  

You can call this a diary or you can say that I’m here to guide you to live a life that you will not regret later.

Anyway, I just feel better to share this with you.

Being able to immigrate from the Philippines to Australia was a dream come true.  

I was in the land of abundant opportunity.  I studied nursing and landed into management jobs two years after I finished my course.  I loved the jobs, and eventually got paid over 6 figures + so many perks that I enjoyed.

What I didn’t realize was that the job was taking away my most valuable possessions…

Which were time and health.

But more on that later.

I stayed at that job and had the “life” until one day I realized I couldn’t take it anymore.

One day, I just snapped, burnt out and quit my job.

The irony of life is that you don’t know what you have until you lose it and I lost a lot during that “dream job.”

So what do I do next?

I do what every ambitious woman does.

I decided I could “do better” and started my own company.  I would bring nurses from the Philippines to work in Australia.

I was proud of my company but I didn’t really own a business.  I “owned another job” and had to be everywhere. I had to travel frequently each month and had long days of interviews and seminars.  

I was so blinded by my pursuit of “success” that I didn’t realize I was making the same mistake as I did before.  

I was trading my valuable time and health for money.

I have vague memories of the first 6 years of my daughters' lives

Every day was a blur…

And then it happened.

I was soon diagnosed with breast cancer because my body couldn’t take the stress anymore.

I and had surgery and 5 weeks of radiotherapy.  

I did make money but was it worth it?

Definitely not.

Is Success and Balance Possible?

There is a happy ending to this story though.  

After my cancer went away, I learned to create a business that provided life balance… something that could provide for my family and also not steal time away from my family nor health.

But for now, here are the 7 Management and Leadership Mistakes that ruined my health and also made me a parent who was not “present”.

1) Being a Control Freak

I wanted to know and be informed of everything that was going on.

I wanted to make sure that everything was Right.

I had a lot of very capable senior staff but I didn’t utilize their skills as much.

If I was to do it again I would let others take charge and get them to excel and shine

2) Delegate and Ask for Help

I worked hard and not smart.

Being able to delegate a lot more and ask for help instead of doing so much.

3) Setting No Boundaries

I made myself available 24/7 and let people contact me anytime.

4) No Priority on Family

I thought I was a good mom but looking back, I’m brave to say I wasn’t.  

My kids were still young then.

I remember going home cooked, bath the kids and usher them to bed after a short story read and then log in and do more work.  

I would go back to work most weeks on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to “finish” more work.

Even when I was with the kids, I wasn’t present.

I was thinking of work a lot and that cause me to have vague memories of my experiences with the kids.

I can remember more what of happened in the past 6 years than the first 6 years of my second daughter’s lives.

It’s terrible that I didn’t invest more of my time with them.

5) Having Too Many Projects Going At Once

We accomplished so much in a short time but this meant loads of work for my staff and I.

If I was to do it over again, I will choose at most, 2 major projects and give it my full attention.

6) Checking Emails Too Frequently

I was productive in terms of results but I was not productive in how I managed my time.

I spent long hours in the evenings and weekends on emails.

I made sure that I answered every single one of them.

I could have used a lot of tools to be better productive, instead I had very little time to think and sit back.

I was a go-go-go person. Always moving, always doing.

Which leads to the last mistake…

7) Too Much Doing and Not Enough Reflection

Maybe you can relate to this…

Ambitious women like us are always so busy and doing things…

That we get caught up in the day to day and never step back and take a 30,000 feet view of what’s actually happen.

We’re so close to the tree that we can’t see a forest or the cloud above the forest.

We don’t think nor reflect.

I urge you to take even 5 – 10 minutes each night to reflect back on your day.  

Ask yourself…

What were the wins?

What were the things that could have gone better?

What did you do with the key relationships that you say are important?

Did you spend time with your family?

This is the MOST important thing you can do each day and is the first thing I would tell my ambitious 30 year old self.

What about you?

Comment below and let me know what would you tell your younger self?