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What Life Behind Bars Taught Me About Life and Leadership

Sometimes the hardest lessons are the most effective

By Greg LindbergPublished about a year ago 3 min read

There was a time when, to an outsider, I might have appeared to have it all. All the trappings of success a man could desire, including a successful career and industry respect. Then I was sentenced to seven years in prison. I served 633 days before my convictions were vacated and I was released.

It was discovered that I had been wrongfully convicted, and the charges were dropped. It was a hard-won battle, but apart from material wealth, I had something else that was undoubtedly useful to my victory. At the time I was imprisoned, I benefitted from an open mind and a zen-like ability to see meaning, learn lessons, and find inspiration wherever I landed.

One of the most positive transformations in my life occurred during my 633 days in federal prison. Through the study of mitochondrial biogenesis, I regained some of my youth and improved my health. There was a noticeable improvement in my memory, my body looked ten years younger, and my gray hair turned red again.

My Humble Beginnings

My name is Greg Evan Lindberg, and I was born in 1970 in San Mateo, California. I am the youngest of five siblings. Despite not being wealthy, my parents worked hard. As a result, I became the first in my family to attend university.

I graduated from Yale with a degree in economics. When I was 21, I read a medical newsletter and was shocked by the poor quality of the writing. In no time, I published a newsletter titled "Home Care Week," which became highly regarded in the medical media.

"Home Care Week" eventually evolved into Eli Research, the company I built from the ground up which was later renamed Global Growth.

My Contentious Conviction

In 2020, I was found guilty of bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. I spent almost two years in prison, and the only thing that saved me was my ability to see things differently and to continuously learn from hardships. This period inspired my latest book, 633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership. The great thing is, anyone can benefit from the lessons I learned.

At the beginning of the book, I wrote a long, personal letter to my loved ones. There are many details about prison life, but they aren't what readers might expect. Instead, I describe how I learned, thrived, and used my time inside for personal growth despite other obligations.

I wouldn't trade my prison experience for anything in the world. The absence of my family and friends was sorely felt. Nevertheless, the experience was crucial to my character development and life plan.

Home 'Sweet' Home

There was no doubt that I had everything a person could hope for in terms of material success. However, the uncertainty of being in a tiny cell, sharing a bathroom with 20 other inmates, and feeling uncomfortable in your own space was undoubtedly daunting.

A Job Is a Job

I had to clean toilets, scrub floors, and do all sorts of dirty work. The other inmates were surprised to see me dive headfirst into my prison chores rather than shy away from them.

I often got asked by my fellow inmates why I worked so hard. It was always important to me to take pride in my work, and I always answered that way. No matter what I do, this principle remains true for me. Doing a job is pointless unless you give it everything you've got. No matter your position, you should show up every day and give it your best shot.

For me, there's nothing that doesn't include a lesson. And sometimes, the hardest lessons are the most effective.


About the Creator

Greg Lindberg

Greg Lindberg is the founder of Global Growth, an entrepreneur and author. He's able to identify what's valuable in any situation and leaning on it for growth. His most recent book is titled 633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership.

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