I am extremely proud of achieving my first Guinness World Records, at the age of 50. A record that required good mental and physical health and included over 60 hours of no sleep, being surrounded by four walls, and having my throat and voice box in action nonstop for 55 hours and 25 minutes.
It all started with a clear goal. To break the Guinness World Records for the "Longest Audio Only Live-Stream".
That being said, every success has two sides. One that we celebrate and one that is filled with fears, doubts, and losses.
My Guinness World Records journey did not begin on April 29th, 2023, and end on May 1st, 2023; rather, it began many years ago for a simple reason.
So, what is the reason for this?
We all need real examples in our lives to show us that the impossible is possible, and that is what I learned in the military while in combat.
Leadership to the Finest (front-line leadership), in which the commanding officer demonstrated first how to do what, why, and with what, and we needed to follow, which is why I did it as well.
Anyone who wants to do more need not look any further.
I did it with minimal logistics but with one goal and key objective in mind: to demonstrate that it is possible.
The lesson Audrey Hepburn taught me
"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible,'" Audrey Hepburn once said.
and it is accurate to the letter.
As a child, I dreamed of competing in a Guinness World Records competition, and that time finally arrived on 29 April 2023. I am grateful for all of the preparation I made, including surrounding myself with people who shared my vision, goal, and desire for success.
After all, no dream can be realised without the help or assistance of others. The same is true for the principle of 'self-made' millionaires. It does not work that way, we always need someone besides us who will support us and believe in our dreams.
Dreaming is only permitted until the age of 14, at least in my case, but I continued to dream during the war. On cold, rainy nights while spying on foreign intelligence agents, I often found myself dreaming that one day I would break a World Record,
And I did it.
The lesson is simple: dream and never stop dreaming because it is an engine that will never stop working. The best part is that you get to choose what your dream will look like!
What Dwight D. Eisenhower taught me
Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote two letters before D-Day in June 1944. One of which was made public and praised everyone who contributed to D-Day, and the another which was kept secret. That letter contained self-blame and acceptance of responsibility for the failure of D-Day'.
So, what I learned from Dwight D Eisenhower is that leadership necessitates self-sacrifice, and in my case, there were people who worked with me, alongside me, on my goal, my dream, and yes, I was acutely aware of the possibility of failure.
Failing is normal, but it was unacceptable in my case because it does not exist in my vocabulary. I made a clear decision on how I would win and share that victory with those who supported me, but what if I failed?
As with Dwight, I knew I had to accept unequivocally and without reservation that it was my fault and no one else's.
Dwight D Eisenhower taught many leaders a lesson that I enjoy sharing with my clients and peers.
The following are simplified steps that I used in my overall tactical and strategic planning on how to break a Guinness World Records. I adopted them from my military career as a leader during and after war.
What it takes to break the world record
1. Have a clear key objective - knowing what you want to achieve and, more importantly, why
2. Intelligence - it is critical to understand the pros and cons of the event, your own capabilities, the people who will support you, as well as the technical and mechanical aspects.
3. Planning - the best planning is "Pre-Mortem Analysis," and in my case, all three scenarios were dark and nearly impossible to convert into a ‘win’. So, I approached the challenge with the mindset of winning regardless of what happened.
4. Know the enemy - Time - In my case. I decided to break the World Record in 56 hours and 1 minute, but I called it quits at 55 hours and 25 minutes because I knew time was my biggest enemy.
Time knew me, but I didn't know time as an opponent. I had to adjust, improvise, and deal with time on a variety of levels.
5. Create a timetable – to win in war, planning is important, and logistics are even more important, but plans are always subject to change. A timetable is necessary to reach milestones and eventually win the war, or in this case, break a Guinness World Records.