A little over a week ago I had the extreme privilege of co-representing the Weaving Influence team at the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit. (If you’re not familiar with the Summit, read this great post by Molly Page from last week.)
The experience was truly amazing. Since the Summit, several friends have asked me who my favorite speaker was. While I could list off points each speaker made that hit me hard, there was one speaker who had me hanging on his every word.
Bob Goff, the author of the book Love Does, is unlike most men you will probably ever meet. It’s not because of the way he looks or the authority with which he speaks. It is because he is so remarkably himself. Sounds strange doesn’t it?
But trust me, Bob is the kind of guy who is simply himself, and today, that is incredible. He is a man of many unique interests and he hasn’t allowed anyone to deter him from following where those interests lead. What may be even more astounding about his ability to be totally himself is his ability to be bold.
In his book, Bob describes incredible adventures. These adventures include everything from law school to international encounters with some of the world’s most powerful people. Every story started the same way, with a bold and audacious request. Bob has accomplished many dreams, all because he was unafraid of asking for opportunity.
So what does this have to do with you and me? As everyday leaders, the everyday grind can get to be tough. Working hard to get your name out and build a good reputation can be exhausting. We look at established moguls and think “how did they come to have such influence and success?” Have you ever thought that they may have asked someone for an opportunity?
Maybe they, like Bob, had to sit outside the Dean’s office everyday for 2 weeks asking for an opportunity before the acceptance letter came. You may be thinking, “normal people do not make outrageous requests such as, will you let me into law school even though the date has passed and my grades are tanked?” However, maybe more of us would be a step closer to our dreams if making bold requests was the normal thing to do.
So who are you and what are your dreams? Is there someone who you think is too important to talk with you, but could provide an opportunity for you if asked? Don’t be afraid. Even if you are sweaty palmed and trembling, boldly make your request. It could be the conversation that changes everything