Jim McCarthy has enjoyed over 20 successful years working in Silicon Valley and had the amazing opportunity to work in a number of different countries, but being diagnosed with cancer four years ago made Jim change how he viewed the world and what he wanted his legacy to be.

Jim grew up in Nebraska and graduated with a degree in political science from Iowa, which also gave him the chance to study in Vienna. He would return to Europe a few years later in a variety of jobs, such as being an English teacher in Frankfurt and a business journalist in Madrid. He returned to the United States in the early 1990’s, got an MBA at Stanford and joined Yahoo at the height of the internet boom in 1997 as employee number 258. Jim has enjoyed a successful career in Silicon Valley for the past two decades.

However in February 2013, Jim was diagnosed with cancer which made him question his purpose and what he wanted to change in his life. He had already left the start-up company he was working for to move into leadership consultancy, but now he realised that he needed to focus on the deeper and more meaningful aspects of his career and life. Today, he shares the experiences he has learned throughout his career through inspiring keynote speeches and workshops, as well as transforming dysfunctional teams to become high performance teams.

This is definitely a podcast worth listening to because Jim passionately offers so much advice to listeners on how to can bring happiness into your life, how important it is to give others feedback to help them learn and grow, along with a lot more top tips to transform your life for the better. Having cancer really changed how Jim viewed the world to live in the moment and believes everyone should live like they have cancer.

You can listen to Jim McCarthy’s podcast at this link or it is also available to download on iTunes.

Here are the important key learns to take away from Jim’s inspiring interview:

1. Positive thoughts bring you happiness. Positive thinking is crucial to help yourself set goals and have the belief you can get there no matter what. Jim has learned throughout the years that happiness is definitely a skill you can learn and develop. He has set up workshops to help people gain that self-belief they crave and become the best possible version of themselves. Positive thinking trains the brain for success and reduces stress. Even saying positive things you yourself can make you feel so much better and can give you so much energy. Avoid the negativity and think positively. It sounds so simple but it is a crucial step to bring happiness into your life.

2. Empowered teams achieve success. Jim has worked as a peak performance leader for many years and offers so much advice on how to get the best out of your team. Three reasons for success include that you want to do a good job, you are enabled and empowered to do a good job, and you also have the know how of what to do. You may have the skills and want to put in the effort, but being motivated and encouraged is just as important. A successful leader will encourage you and want to see you do well, but the last part is up to you to showcase your skills and creativity.

3. Feedback helps you grow. Feedback is a crucial part to any job to get the best out of people and help them grow. It can be a difficult conversation to have as you may not want to hurt that person’s feelings, so Jim believes clear and fluent communication is key to bring people up to scratch and help them become the best version of themself. Don’t go in all guns blazing, but rather suggest things can be better and ask them look at things from a different angle. Feedback is crucial to any part of life to help us learn from our mistakes and become a much stronger person.

4. Live in another country. One of the many pieces of advice Jim would offer his younger self include to jump at the chance to work in another country. Jim has travelled the world including studying in Austria and working at a number of different jobs in England, Germany and Spain. He believes everyone should have the chance to live in another country to learn about other cultures, which in turn helps you appreciate your own culture more. You should also learn the country’s native language to expand your skillset. There are so many benefits you learn from living in another country and it is an experience you will also treasure forever.

5. How to be a leader. Jim has many years experience leading high performance teams and tells listeners that you don’t need years of experience to gain a leadership opportunity. If you think this is something you are interested in and want to make a difference, things like organising a fundraiser or doing some charity work are great opportunities to build your leadership skills in your early career. Don’t worry about things not working out and chance your arm. These opportunities not only help out other people, but can give you the belief and confidence that you are suited to a career as a leader.

6. Live in the moment. Being diagnosed with cancer a few years ago made Jim think about his purpose in life. It made him ask himself what did he want to change in his life and what way he wanted to live. Having cancer made Jim live in the moment and not to worry about things he could not control. It is in this sense that he believes everyone should live like they have cancer. Don’t just plod along and let life pass you by, but rather cherish every day and enjoy life to the fullest. Do what you enjoy and work in a career that you are truly passionate about. Life is too short to be worrying about things.

Do you agree with my takeaways from Jim Mccarthy’s podcast? What were the keys things that you took away from the interview? Let me know my leaving a comment below.

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