You want to know the secret and so do I. We want to know the secrets to a leader’s success so we can find that extra edge and do something quicker, better or cheaper. We want to seize our ultimate opportunity and do the impossible.
That is why a Chinese gaming company just paid $2.35 million to have lunch with Warren Buffet – to learn the secrets to his success. That is why others pay handsomely to for private access to motivational speakers, industry giants and celebrities. We all want the secrets. That is why we read the headlines, articles, reports and books. We want to know the secrets to their success because that gives us an advantage.
In this series, I share the secrets that you have been seeking, the answers to the compelling question, “What are the secrets to becoming a disruptive leader?” Let’s begin with the first secret.
I was sitting right next to him for the entire evening knowing I would have my opportunity. I just had to wait for the right moment.
A few years ago I had the privilege of meeting Hall of Fame speaker Steve Rizzo at a small dinner engagement for our National Speaker Association chapter meeting. I quickly loved his humor but even more, his spirit. As the Dean of the Academy, I knew he had a secret or two that he would share for the aspiring speakers. So when the moment was right, I posed the question.
“What one piece of advise would you give to aspiring speakers?”
His answer was brief, heart felt and to the point.
“Don’t be afraid to ask.”
I thought he might have addressed his comedic talent, talking about timing or being what it takes to be a successful speaker. Here was a guy who had comedy specials on HBO, rubs elbows with big name celebrities and speaks several times a week while commanding a large fee. I imagined he could spend an hour answering my question. But he didn’t. Instead, the secret, as he explained, was that most people don’t ask when the opportunity is available. That was it. His advise is “Don’t be afraid to ask.”
I was taken back. This was so true but so simple. As we talk of disrupting the status quo, I’m conscious that too often we don’t ask for that success.
- We don’t ask what we really want.
- We don’t ask what is available.
- We don’t ask what we are really willing to do to have.
Why? Because we are afraid of the answer. Most people are afraid to ask, fearful of hearing “No” “Not Now” or “Not you.” We think others are more qualified, destined, blessed or simply luckier than we are. At other times, we are afraid of hearing “YES!” for fear of the next step – getting our of our comfort zone. So we stay in our unsatisfactory status quo.
That is kind of stupid, isn’t it? We say we want something but when it becomes available, we don’t even ask for it. It is sitting there, waiting for us to take it. Actually, it is sitting there waiting for ANYONE to take it. But we tremble at the thought and silence ourselves. What lunacy.
Disruptive leaders knows that if they ask, they are already worlds ahead of most. They gain a quick advantage by asking a question that provides the answer. But most are afraid and so they sit back, stay comfortable and remain quiet.
What a mistake. There is a much better way.
A Disruptive Read
Take a look around, read about those that are disrupting the world with faster, better and cheaper products and services. You don’t need to look very hard and you will find that every single one of them is more than willing to ask for what they want. But the first secret you will find is that they are not asking someone to give it to them. They are asking it of themselves, their community and the world. They are asking for what they already know they want and know is possible. They ask as Seattle Seahawk winning quarterback Russell Wilson did, “Why not me?” They ask, “Why not now?” and “Why not here?”
We leverage our power to do the impossible when we have the courage to ask for what we want. That is why those that radically reshape our world don’t wait for someone to suggest the opportunity or to hand them the answer. Their secret is that they take the initiative and ask the critical questions.
That is why we pay millions to have lunch with those who have continually disrupt the world.
- What is the question you need to ask?
- Who do you need to ask?
- When is the best time to ask? (Hint: Will there ever be a better time than right now?”
3D PWR Tip: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for What You Want
(c) 2015 Murfield International, Inc.
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Dr. Loren Murfield works with aspiring and emerging leaders so they can leverage their power to do what followers and critics think is impossible. This often involves working with them to develop their disruptive ideas and write their stories of rapid and radical change. How could you leverage your leadership power by sharing your story of disruption? Contact Dr. Murfield today.
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