Do you ever wish that you could go back in time to do something completely differently? Maybe appreciate a certain moment more, or push yourself more towards a goal you never ended up reaching?
This is also the case for business leaders. Although they have reached very senior positions within their respective sectors, many still wonder how things may have turned out had they taken certain decisions when they were still inexperienced and relatively green.
As part of a series of quick-fire questions that were first published in MaltaCEOs 2023’s print edition, various prominent CEOs and business leaders that are leading Malta’s top businesses were asked about one piece of career advice that they would give their teenage selves if they could go back in time.
There were a number of respondents that opted for answers tied to education and career paths, such as suggesting that they would have taken up a particular course to gain an edge in the area.
Cristina Casingena, CEO at LifeStar Insurance plc, remarked that her Bachelor of Science degree in Pure Mathematics “instilled a scientific approach” to her way of thinking. However, she noted that if she had the ability to go back in time, she would have encouraged herself to “explore” her “artistic side” more.
BMIT Technologies CEO Christian Sammut stated that he would have wanted to “persevere and pursue” architecture as a potential career path, as he still has a “strong” passion for it.
MAPFRE Middlesea CEO Javier Moreno Gonzalez remarked that he would have told himself to “never stop learning” and to think for himself more.
Other leaders, such as Bluefort CEO Edward Borg Grech and Clentec Ltd Founder and CEO Simon Jesmond Turner, added that they would have ideally started working in their respective industries at an earlier stage in their careers.
On the other hand, some leaders, including Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia, wished that they had established a more ideal work-life balance beforehand.
Self-development and personal growth were also topics that came up quite frequently in replies.
Nectar Ltd CEO Roderick Abela explained: “Identify very early the best books on self-development and leadership, devour them and apply their wisdom consistently.”
Alona Andruk, Founder and CEO at Take Off Ltd, noted that she would have been bolder in her decisions, trying out “any idea” she would have, and then “learn to fail fast, and start all over again”.
Fenlex CEO Karl Diacono took on a different approach, remarking that he would have told his younger self to slow things down as “life is way too short”.
Referring to an old English proverb: “slowly slowly, catchy monkey,” meaning avoid rushing into matters, he added that everyone “seems to be in a rush with no thought of the stress and consequence of living beyond one’s means”.
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