Greg Lindberg’s ‘101 Guiding Beliefs’ on Transforming Adversity Into Opportunity

Life can change on a dime, and no one knows that better than businessman Greg Lindberg. He somehow found strength and growth in a dire situation that could drive some to the breaking point — and 101 guiding beliefs he generously shares with others looking for inspiration during dark times.

Until a few years ago, the self-made entrepreneur had it all. The health care newsletter business he’d launched using $5,000 in seed money he got from his parents as a Yale undergrad had evolved into a global corporation that currently boasts more than $5 billion in assets and 7,000 employees worldwide. In addition to enjoying a prolific career and a variety of philanthropic pursuits, Lindberg was a proud father who prided himself on being an involved and active parent.

Then, the unthinkable happened.

A Devastating Event Leads to Unexpected Opportunity

Greg Lindberg’s streak of good fortune came to a grinding halt in 2020 when he was convicted on federal charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was sentenced to serve more than seven years in prison. “Life was good,” Lindberg recalled in his new autobiography,633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership. “Now, I was living in a cell in a bunk room, sharing a small space and an even smaller bathroom with 21 other men. I missed my family. I worried about my friends and co-workers and how my companies were doing.”

No stranger to hard work, Lindberg quickly became determined to use his time behind bars productively. “I was looking forward to getting a prison assignment so I could at least stay busy,” he wrote.

While the forced “time out” of prison was an extreme measure, Greg Lindberg admits it afforded him the opportunity for deep personal introspection. It also opened a unique window into the lives of less fortunate inmates, many of whom had run afoul of the capricious whims of a legal system that often meted out anything but equal justice under the law.

Greg Lindberg’s Guilty Verdict Overturned: The Truth Shall Set You Free

Greg Lindberg’s conviction was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2020. By the time he was released on July 15, he’d spent nearly two years at Federal Prison Camp (FPC) in Montgomery, Alabama. During his stay, Lindberg worked as a janitor and a librarian before taking on the role of mentor to his fellow inmates, teaching classes in business, stress management, career planning, and entrepreneurship.

In his new book, 633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership, Lindberg details the day-to-day realities he faced behind bars as well as the personal metamorphosis he underwent while incarcerated. Greg Lindberg believes living through the ordeal made him a stronger, smarter, and more compassionate individual. It’s a quintessential “phoenix rising from the ashes” tale.

Greg Lindberg hopes sharing the lessons he learned while in prison will motivate others to look beyond their perceived limitations and follow their passions. “With the launch of this new book, I hope to empower people to take their lives and their well-being into their own hands,” Lindberg says. “If there’s any setting where that seems impossible to do, it would be prison. I hope my story will prove to readers that there are no circumstances too grave to prevent them from turning the most difficult of circumstances into opportunities to unlock their inner greatness.”

Greg Lindberg’s Guiding Principles for Life and Business

Lindberg reveals the transformational nature of his time in prison was essential to his ultimate growth both as a person and as a leader. “​​I would not trade my prison experience for anything. Yes, I sorely missed my family and friends. But the experience was a necessary part of my character development and a necessary part of my life plan,” he wrote in 633 Days Inside.

In the book’s fifth chapter, Greg Lindberg sets forth “The 101 Guiding Principles” he believes are essential to living your best life, personally and in business. “Regardless of where you choose to make a difference,” he wrote, “choose a path that will require you to use all your gifts.”

Here is a sampling of his sage observations.

Leadership Basics

Effective leaders inspire people to follow them willingly. They lead by example, not by enforcing rote rules.“The stronger the leader, the less force they need to apply to achieve results,” Greg Lindberg wrote. “Forced leadership is not leadership; it is the slavery of will.”

Getting the Right People on the Bus

Greg Lindberg believes your business is only as good as your people. Build an exceptional team, and success will follow. “Getting the right people on your bus is 90% of success,” he writes, with the caveat, “One ‘C’ player on your bus can ruin your whole operation … Hire people smarter than you and more talented than you and get the heck out of their way.”

Learning from Failure

Making mistakes is often what teaches us life’s most valuable lessons. “True knowledge comes only from doing, learning, and failing in the school of hard knocks,” Lindberg wrote. “There is no shame in failure, only in refusing to learn from failures.”

The Perils of Complacency

Greg Lindberg doesn’t believe in resting on your laurels. “‘Next’ is the most important word after any victory or failure,” he wrote. “Relaxations are dangerous in any field from poetry to politics … The day you stop asking questions, relax, and rest on your accomplishments is the day you start dying.”

Transforming Adversity into Advantage

Greg Lindberg cites fear as the biggest stumbling block to transforming adversity into opportunity: fear of being judged; fear of being different; fear of facing painful changes. He believes, however, that evolving to become your best self is a 100% no-pain, no-gain proposition.

“Failure to turn adversity into an advantage is fundamentally a failure to break free from your comfort zone. Your ability to turn adversity into an advantage is directly proportional to your ability to endure pain,” Lindberg wrote. “In order to turn adversity into advantage, you must be fearless to the danger from those who will seek to stop you because they see you as a challenge or threat to established norms, ideas, practices, companies, competitors, and those in power today.”

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.