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The Big Five for Life Book Review (My Key Takeaways)

Some books just make you think differently about life… The Big Five for Life is one of them.

John Strelecky wrote this book about a fictional businessman who is dying and sharing the lessons he lived his life by.

Depending on how you read the book, it could give you business advice that helps you be a better leader—or it could give you general life advice that inspires you to approach your days from another perspective.

Either way, this book leaves an impression.

There are two key takeaways:

  • The Big 5 for Life: Obviously the title of the book, but this is the 5 things we most want to do, see, or experience before we die
  • Museum Days: If your days were cataloged, what would they look like? Would you be proud of them? Would they be inspiring? Would they leave an impression?

Below are some other key moments that stood out to me.

They may not make sense outside the context of the book, so I encourage you to pick it up and give it a read.

The Big Five For Life: Key Takeaways

  • The average human in the United States lives around 28,500 days, or about seventy-eight years. What if EVERY DAY of our life was cataloged?
  • I spent quite a lot of time thinking about what I wanted the company to be like and who I wanted to be as a leader
  • The ULTIMATE job perk—the opportunity to get paid for doing what fulfills you
  • When companies hired on…
    • a) how a person would fit with the company’s culture
    • b) gave people greater autonomy
    • c) created family like environments
    • They had 22% higher sales growth, 23% high profit, 67% lower attrition
  • Purpose for Existing: Before someone’s hired, ask why they are alive
  • Big Five for Life 5 things we most want to do, see, or experience before we die
  • Before you hire someone ask them what the above are ^^^
  • If leaders aren’t helping their people fulfill their Big Five for Life, then what are they really doing? Basically they’re taking people’s lives in exchange for money!
  • I tell my people all the time to make me better. If they read something interesting, tell me. If they want to receive feedback differently, tell me. When they do well, I win. Plain and simple
  • I didn’t care how much something costs, or how much effort is required to do it, just so long as the output (the O) is greater than the combination of the cost and the effort
  • What OTHER products do our MOST profitable customers want?
  • HR (People) = Helping dreams come true. NOT rules
  • Pixar = feedback sessions: Do these on projects/ideas. No negativity. IT WAS FUN, people laughed and was more of a party than meeting
  • Great leaders want to lead
  • On a regular basis, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and see what it’s like to interact with your own company
  • Fear leads to failure, and fearless leads to success
  • ALWAYS write the ending first
  • What kind of company did I want to build?
  • What kind of leaders did I want to create?
  • What type of relationship did I want my wife and I to have on our 10th anniversary?
  • Update job applications with side hustles or what the person hopes to do in life

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