— John Bell, CEO (Retired), Jacobs Suchard
When I first started writing for a bigger audience for the Lead Change Group back in 2011, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ideas.
When you transition from sharing your ideas with colleagues to sharing them with others on a broader scale, there’s some uncertainty involved.
One of the first people who started commenting on my articles and encouraging me to write more was John Bell. I didn’t know John or his background, but I really appreciated his encouragement and the insights he added to my writing.
John was a humble, helpful, and regular guy who didn’t call out attention to himself. Then the Lead Change Group changed ownership, and many of us fell away and drifted apart.
It was two or three years later when our paths crossed again when John published his first book. Do Less Better. I was in for quite a surprise.
I learned that John had a remarkable career as a transformational leader, and he retired as CEO at Jacobs Suchard. When you know his story, you can’t help but be impressed by his remarkable career and accomplishments.
In my opinion, John is the type of CEO the world needs more of and is likely the CEO, so many wish they had the opportunity to work for. This fact makes his advice even more compelling and worthy of closer study.
Do, Less Better
John’s book isn’t the first book to tell us how to focus and do less better. There are many hundreds of books on the topic and an even more significant number of articles published every day.
But what sets John’s book apart is this according to John:
There’s a difference between strategic choices and strategic sacrifices. Tough strategic choices are about the business. Tough sacrifices are about you.
John says, “Tough sacrifices claw at your emotions because they require that you do something that you don’t want to do. And these are the sacrifices that rob you of sleep, sober your disposition, heighten your stress, and choke your patience on the little things in life.”
Knowing the difference between strategic choice and strategic sacrifice is your key to doing less, better.
I encourage you to read John’s book for a deeper dive on this topic.
The Future of the Workplace
You might find it interesting to know that John was one of the first three people I interviewed for Exploring Forward Thinking Workplaces.
Because I was looking for validation from accomplished top business leaders that the questions were worth asking, and this was a project worth doing.
Interestingly, John answered that specific question when I interviewed him. The full interview is in The Future of the Workplace. Read a preview of the interview at Voices Will Matter, People Will Thrive, and Innovation Will Become Ingrained in the Culture If…
Learn more and read more previews of my interviews with pioneering leaders at the new thefutureoftheworkplacebook.com site.
What did you find most intriguing?
As always, I welcome any feedback or suggestions that may come up from reading my newsletters.
To your forward thinking life & success!
Bill Fox, Founder at Forward Thinking Pro