March 15, 2009

Near-death experiences of CEOs

"Death is very likely the single-best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new" Steve Jobs in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.

CEOs show how cheating death can change your life

Last June, management consultant Grant Thornton surveyed 250 CEOs of companies with revenue of $50 million or more. Twenty-two percent said they have had an experience when they believed they would die and, of those, 61% said it changed their long-term perspective on life or career. Forty-one percent said it made them more compassionate leaders; 16% said it made them more ambitious; 14% said it made them less ambitious.

People who recount pure NDEs sometimes say they are accompanied by out-of-body experiences and trips toward a light. NDEs are described as both pleasurable and not. A Gallup Poll found that about 8 million Americans have had a near-death experience. That number is surely on the rise, because victims of cardiac arrest — which kills 1,000 people a day in the USA, according to Cardiac Science — are increasingly being saved with automated external defibrillators.
Of the 250 CEOs surveyed by Grant Thornton, 3% said they have been brought back to life after having died. Another 3% said they did not want to respond to the question.

Ned Dougherty, once a millionaire real estate broker who owned popular discos in New York and Florida, went into cardiac arrest two different times in 1984 but did not go fully public with his near death experiences until 2001 in his book Fast Lane to Heaven. He says he met deceased loved ones and was enveloped by the light of God. A casual drug user and an alcoholic who always had his first drink before noon, Dougherty said he was suddenly cured of addiction.

Dougherty says those who ditched into the Hudson River have had a spiritual experience that they will have to come to terms with over time. He says he has lost all interest in business and money. Where he once was angry at God for "ruining the party," he now considers his two trips into death a blessing. Like most who have NDEs, he says he no longer fears death.

Posted by Jill Fallon at March 15, 2009 5:07 AM | Permalink