Say yes, even if it scares you to undertake a monumental task

If you can have patience, humility, some degree of fearlessness but also some degree of fear (both very helpful), present yourself to others in a way that will make them trust you, but more importantly... Make them see you as the only person that can do that monumental task they need to be accomplished... then you are firmly headed in the direction of getting to do things you don't know how to do but someone believed in you enough that you should say yes and do it anyway.

I think it's Richard Branson that is always credited with saying, "If someone offers you the opportunity to do something and you don't know how, say yes anyway and learn while you're doing it"... Definitely mega-paraphrasing but all the details of the point are present.  I've gotten to take this type of opportunity a few times in my life and never have I been disappointed and will always be grateful for them and the ones I know I've yet to embark on.
Leaders should build failure into the model for what you're trying to accomplish

I think it's Richard Branson that is always credited with saying,

If someone offers you the opportunity to do something and you don't know how, say yes anyway and learn while you're doing it...

Definitely mega-paraphrasing but all the details of the point are present.


I've gotten to take this type of opportunity a few times in my life and never have I been disappointed and will always be grateful for them and the ones I know I've yet to embark on.


The question or the "story" that always gets back to me is,

"Well, no one will give me a chance like that" or some variation that points to the reason being that the vast expanse of the universe just happen to look in my direction one day and said, "I pick you".

First and foremost I'm SO happy that's not how it happened or happens... if it was the entire expanse of the universe that put me in that position, I surely would have had a cardiac event of some sort. And for you philosophers out there, I acknowledge and in fact, agree the universe was not on the sidelines when it happened. But here are details of the happening from a more relatable point of view.


First of all, I am no captain of industry, super-intelligent, relentlessly driven mega-person.


I'm a guy from a painfully modest background with all the same hang-ups, misgivings, insecurities and outright fears as so many others.


I overthink a lot of things, I procrastinate, I go to bed late, drink a lot of coffee, hate doing laundry, hate doing the dishes and hate vacuuming even more. I wish there was an "easy button" for nearly everything. Alas, there is not.


And while I am all of those things I am also, a generally above-average speaker, I can comprehend and solve extremely sophisticated problems, I find I am excellent at bringing impressive people together to create new things or fix broken things and make them better than before.


And even more important than those... I am patient, I am an observer, I do the work when I don't want to, I can convey concepts and ideas in ways that can move entire groups of people to want to help me make things happen. I believe in myself. Even at my most insecure, I believe in myself and believe that successes are only as powerful as the failures that brought me to them in the first place, so I embrace both.


I tell leaders all the time, "build failure into the model for what you're trying to accomplish." Nearly everyone looks at me like I'm some sort of weak-minded idiot... until something fails, then I'm their closest friend to help with the 'now what' portion they didn't take into account when things went sideways.

We don't get big new opportunities every day, and we shouldn't or we would probably go insane, but we do get a beautiful little nugget placed before us from time to time.

If you can have patience, humility, some degree of fearlessness but also some degree of fear (both very helpful), present yourself to others in a way that will make them trust you, but more importantly... Make them see you as the only person that can do that monumental task they need to be accomplished... then you are firmly headed in the direction of getting to do things you don't know how to do but someone believed in you enough that you should say yes and do it anyway.


Then you get to share your story with the next group of self-doubters and help keep propelling us forward.


PS: This article was first published in Chris Shryrock's LinkedinBlog


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