Date posted: 05/07/2022 5 min read

From CA Library: The positives from past regrets

What positives can you take from things you regret and how can you do better? Use these CA Library resources for guidance.

In Brief

  • In “The Power of Regret”, psychologist Daniel Pink puts forward strategies to harness or heal the fallout from previous bad decisions.
  • “Start With a Win”, “Resilience By Design” and “HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose” also explore positive mindsets.
  • Other titles provide practical approaches for Indigenous engagement, partnering for marketing success, and how to digitise a business – step by step.
Reviews by Abigail Murison

The Power of Regret: How looking backward moves us forward

The Power of Regret: How looking backward moves us forwardBy Daniel Pink (Canongate Books), ebook

In late 2020, psychologist Daniel Pink launched the online World Regret Survey, asking people across the globe to share their greatest regrets. Eighteen months and 19,000 responses later, The Power of Regret reveals our main types of regret, and how we can use these negative experiences to improve our future choices.

Pink puts our regrets into four categories: foundation (“I should have studied harder at university”), boldness (“What would my life be like if I’d accepted that overseas posting?”), moral (“I stole some sweets from the local shop”) and connection (“I haven’t spoken to my sister in 12 years”). In some cases, such as studying harder, the best we can do is to never repeat a regretted action – putting in our best effort from now on. In other cases, we still have the option of rectifying a situation – contacting a former colleague or family member, for instance, or starting to exercise or build some savings.

He also offers strategies to help us harness or deal with our regrets. They include treating ourselves with compassion and looking for the silver linings. At work, one way to use regret positively is to do “pre-mortems” on important projects. The team imagines that the work is complete, but that the worst-case scenario has eventuated. This gives us a chance to spot and avoid potential missteps before they happen.

The Power of Regret is an engaging, well researched read from the five-time New York Times best-selling author, and you’ll find yourself doing a mental check of Pink’s practical advice to use in your own life.

Start With a Win: Tools and lessons to create personal and business success

Start With a Win: Tools and lessons to create personal and business successBy Adam Contos (Wiley), ebook and audiobook

Adam Contos was a policeman, deputy sheriff, SWAT tactical commander and an entrepreneur before becoming CEO of American real-estate company RE/MAX. In Start With a Win he explains the approach he used to succeed in all his very different jobs, as well as in his day-to-day life.

For Contos, a “win” is a process of identifying a challenge, establishing what attitude is required, and then what action needs to be taken to succeed. Key to “winning” is taking action. Fear, excuses, blaming others, a negative attitude – and even the quest for perfection – can all result in inaction.

He shares his experiences – from pivoting RE/MAX to virtual sales during COVID-19, to his first felony arrest as a rookie cop, to public speaking – to demonstrate how this approach works in practice.

Contos says it’s particularly important for leaders to model the positive, active behaviour they want to see in their teams, including embracing lifelong learning, taking responsibility, treating others with kindness, and being open to honest feedback.

And when things don’t go right, he suggests a four-step look-back process, so teams can celebrate what went well, consider what didn’t work out, identify where time, money or effort was wasted, and brainstorm what can be done differently to improve outcomes next time.

While many of the positive-thinking concepts in Start With a Win will be familiar, the lessons bear repeating.

True Tracks: Respecting Indigenous knowledge and culture

True Tracks: Respecting Indigenous knowledge and cultureBy Terri Janke (NewSouth Publishing), ebook

How do you do the right thing by an Australian community whose rights aren’t adequately protected under the existing legal system? That’s the challenge Terri Janke – a Wuthathi/ Meriam woman and an international authority on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) – addresses in True Tracks.

Janke’s solution to better protect Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) is to do the ethical thing, which goes some way beyond ticking the legal check boxes. She has developed a set of 10 protocols to help guide negotiations with Indigenous communities, including consultation and sharing the benefits (which can include commercial benefits).

Janke explains how QR codes and blockchain have a role in recording and tracking art sales, ensuring creators control their work and gain commercial benefits from it. She also looks at how companies should implement the Australian government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy, source their own Indigenous suppliers and partners, and develop Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) to make real, respectful change.

Also recommended

Microsoft Excel 365 Bible

Microsoft Excel 365 BibleBy Michael Alexander and Dick Kusleika, (Wiley), ebook

This is a guide to the latest and most useful features in Microsoft Excel 365. It delivers an accessible roadmap to the program, from basic spreadsheets to advanced topics such as visualisations, crafting custom functions and data analytics.

The Partnership Economy: How modern businesses find new customers, grow revenue, and deliver exceptional experiences

The Partnership Economy: How modern businesses find new customers, grow revenue, and deliver exceptional experiencesBy David Yovanno (Wiley), ebook

Experienced technology CEO David Yovanno describes how to unleash the potential of a business and increase revenue by investing in partnerships, whether that’s pairing with influencers or using more traditional set-ups.

The End of Technophobia: A practical guide to digitising your business

The End of Technophobia: A practical guide to digitising your businessBy Tracy Sheen (Unusual Comms), ebook

Book of the Year in the Australian Business Book Awards 2021, this guide takes a very practical approach to digitising a business. Small business specialist Tracy Sheen explains how to identify the right tech for your needs and avoid common mistakes and costs.


Resilience by Design: How to survive and thrive in a complex and turbulent world

By Mike Weeks and Ian Snape (Wiley), ebook and audiobook

Run time: 11 hrs 34 mins

How do we find purpose in our work and life? And do we have that same purpose throughout our entire lives? Financial services executive John Coleman debunks a few myths and discusses how to “job craft” to transform a role, identify what makes us happy, and build positive and fulfilling relationships.

Resilience by Design: How to survive and thrive in a complex and turbulent world

By Mike Weeks and Ian Snape (Wiley), ebook and audiobook

Run time: 11 hrs 34 mins

Is there really a way to transform stress into resilience, clarity and improved wellbeing? This title delivers research-backed strategies and techniques to help you thrive under pressure. Its methods draw from neuroscience, complexity theory and the experiences of hundreds of people working in high-pressure environments.


How to Fix Broken Supply Chains

By Dustin Burke, TED Talk, 2021

Run time: 11 mins

Global trade expert Dustin Burke offers original solutions to fix the vulnerability of supply chains, including a radical shift in supply chain transparency and a sharing of risk among companies that require similar input resources.

CA Library

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The titles featured here are available to download directly from the library catalogue along with technical and soft-skill ebooks, audiobooks, articles and online resources.

Members can also access the online database that includes journals such as Harvard Business Review and newspapers including The Australian Financial Review.

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