13

Just Ask

| | Personal Leadership
Photo of Mandala Created by Dr. Masaru Emoto

Photo of Mandala Created by Dr. Masaru Emoto

You have this big dream or a really exciting idea.  Your spirit is brimming with positive energy from the possibility.  Your mind is racing with tons of great ideas on how to make it happen. Then you start to think of who you would love to ask to join you.

And then you think to yourself…but who am “I” to ask “them”.

Maybe it’s your boss or the president of your company.  Maybe it is the leader of your place of worship.  Maybe it is a person you met at a conference last year, but haven’t contacted since.  And maybe it is that famous person you really admire and respect whose work is totally aligned with yours.  And maybe it is even one of your heroes.

So why don’t you ask them?  Of course you have some really valid reasons.  At the top of the list is  that you think they will say no.  But what if they say yes?

If you don’t ask “yes” will never be a possibility.

Kumari Mullin took that risk very recently and was pleasantly surprised by the response.

She is a big fan of Dr Masaru Emoto, an internationally recognized water crystal researcher from Japan (among other endeavors).  In fact, she refers to him as one of her super-heroes.

A childhood friend who had studied with Dr Emoto called her saying she had this idea that Kumari contact Dr. Emoto about collaborating with her in some way to facilitate healing in the Gulf from the oil spill.  The ideas of what they could do immediately started to flow.  She was getting really excited about the possibility and a clear idea started to take shape.  Then this thought popped into her head: “there is no way he is going to come all the way over here from Japan, he doesn’t even know me.”

It would have been so easy to let that thought take over and deflate the energy of possibility.  Yet she chose to contact him and ask anyway.  Within 24 hours he accepted her invitation and a date was set.

What was the key to his “yes”?

She made a request that was totally aligned with his work and his commitments.  She shared her commitments and her vision and spoke directly to his.

On September 11, 2010 she is co-facilitating a workshop titled Healing the Gulf: the Power of Intentions with Dr. Emoto.  They are partnering with The National Wildlife Federation to raise funds for restoration of wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

Not only is this a great demonstration of the power of just asking, Kumari has demonstrated leadership in action.  She reminds us that any one of us can find a way to use our unique gifts to make a difference in the things we care about.

So when you hear that “little voice” in your mind that is busy trying to keep you safe and maintain the status quo, try asking yourself these 3 questions:

> Is my possibility, my vision, my idea worth the risk of hearing a “no”?

> What do I really have to lose?

> And what is possible if they actually say yes?

What’s your dream or your big idea and who will you have the courage to “just ask”?

Share

Enter A Comment

Jay Forte   |   30 August 2010   |   Reply

Great post Susan. Reminds me of the perspective of Michael Port in his book The Think Big Manifesto (great read). One thing he says that crossed my mind as I read your post is that most of us think of “why me?” – why could something big come from me? We should instead ask, “why not me?” Aren’t we each capable of greatness and great things? And that takes the courage to show up and to ask. Great post.

Susan Mazza   |   31 August 2010   |   Reply

Hi Jay – thanks for stopping by. Why NOT me? is a great question.

Mike Henry Sr.   |   30 August 2010   |   Reply

Great reminder Susan. Many times the risk is much bigger in our perceptions than it is in reality. When “no” is the worst that can happen, we have little to lose.

But, of course, after I’ve typed that, I’m reminded of things I haven’t asked for from people lately. Convicting…

Susan Mazza   |   31 August 2010   |   Reply

Well said (as usual!) Mike

Louise Altman   |   30 August 2010   |   Reply

Hi Susan – these questions are more even more important now – given the economic “realities” of today’s world, where our dreams can seem more illusory and frivolous than ever. So many people feel that to survive, they have to stop asking for what they want and need.
In a recent post we wrote called Whatever Happened to Your Dreams, we mentioned that our dreams (lost, dormant and still breathing) is where our intuition and energy lives.
Too many of us are taught to settle and not dream or ask big.
In watching some of the Emmys last night, we noticed that so many of the actors and writers who won big thanked their parents and friends for supporting them in doing what they believed in. We ALL need to be each other’s supporters in pursuing our desires and dreams. We need to encourage others to make that “little voice” inside be a loud voice of support, praise and recognition for going after what we want – despite outward appearances.
Best,
Louise

Monica Diaz   |   30 August 2010   |   Reply

“What do I really have to lose?” is such a great question, Susan! It is one we should ask ourselves frequently, for fear (of what?) keeps us from asking and from doing so many things! When we realize there’s not truly much to lose we find the courage to move forward. Great post, as always!

Susan Mazza   |   31 August 2010   |   Reply

So true – often if just we take a moment to honestly examine what we are really afraid of we realize the “real” risk isn’t as scary as what our feelings indicate.

Susan Mazza   |   31 August 2010   |   Reply

You make so many great points here Louise. Please feel free to share a link to the post you are referring to here.

J.D. Meier   |   06 September 2010   |   Reply

You’re right … asking is the key to getting to yes.

I think the key to asking, is asking effectively. I’ve learned to ask the right people, the right way, with the right question, at the right time.

Susan Mazza   |   08 September 2010   |   Reply

Excellent point JD. Thanks

And what better way to learn how to get a yes, than by asking, again and again?

Jennifer V. Miller   |   20 May 2012   |   Reply

Susan,

Such a great post! One of my mother’s favorite sayings is, “What’s the worst they could say? They’ll say ‘no’.” In fact, she just said this to me this morning!

Susan Mazza   |   21 May 2012   |   Reply

Thanks Jennifer.

So did you follow her advice and ask? If so, what did they say??

  • Leaders Serving Leaders | Lead Change Group 03 September 2010, 03 September 2010

    […] if you truly need some help, as Susan Mazza posted, Just Ask.  You’ll never know what this community will do to help you become a better leader until you […]