Get Around Big People

March 26, 2013 - Mac Lake - Leadership, Personal Growth
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If you want to grow bigger in your character or leadership competency one of the best things you can do is get around big people. A big person is someone who’s character you admire.  It’s someone who’s had bigger experience than you, bigger success than you, bigger ideas than you and a bigger network than you. It’s someone who has a bigger company than yours, bigger team than yours, bigger influence than yours and a bigger vision than yours.

It’s important to get around big people because looking through the eyes of someone more experienced gives you a clearer picture of the critical Why’s and How’s required to lead at a bigger level. When meeting with a BIG Person take full advantage of the opportunity.

  • Prepare a list of questions in advance.  Ask questions that enable you to learn from both their success and their failures.
  • Listen more than you talk.  The temptation is to tell them your story.  Next thing you know 15 minutes has gone by and you’ve not allowed them to talk at all.  Don’t try to impress them with who you are and what you’ve done.  Introduce yourself, give 2 basics about yourself, tell them you’re there to learn from them, then start asking questions.
  • Take Notes.  There is nothing more dishonoring asking to learn from someone and then not take notes as they’re sharing their best wisdom and experience.  *Follow up. Honor their investment by letting them know what action steps you’re going to take as a result of what you learned from them. Thank them and  let them know the specific difference their investment made in your life.

Not only will these steps honor their investment but also will make them more likely to say “yes” if you request a second meeting.

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Mac Lake

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5 responses to Get Around Big People

  1. Mac…I really appreciate your last point about follow up. Taking notes shows them we are listening, but sharing our plan for application shows that we are serious about growing.

  2. Great point Brett. Yes taking notes always seems to be an overlooked disciple even for seasoned veteran leaders. To me taking notes is a practice of a lifelong learner.

  3. Mac, I have to disagree with your paragraph about getting around BIG people. The paragraph reads as if the only way to success is by associating yourself with people with influence, power, and wealth. I believe that is part of the problem with our society today. We have too many people with influence, power, and wealth that are leading and directing us. We don’t need to get around BIG people, we need to get around Jesus. He was never one of great influence as he was rejected by his own people. Jesus was never one of power as he stated that he did not come to be served but to serve. Jesus was not one of wealth as he states that he had no where to lay his head. I am not interested in getting around BIG people; however, I am interested in getting around JESUS people.

  4. Hey Dennis, thanks for the feedback. I agree with you, it’s not about getting around people who have power or money. I’m talking about people who’ve spent time with Jesus and so impacted by him that their character and competencies have been developed through a continual walk with the Holy Spirit. For example, Howard Hendricks was one I considered to be a big person. Each semester when I took his classes I sat in the front row and tried to soak up every word he said. But it wasn’t only the words he said it was the spirit in which he delivered them. I learned how to be passionate about the Word from him. Or Bill Hybels, each time I am around him I am challenged to have a deeper love for the Church. There are certain godly men that I intentionally put myself around because God has so impacted them, used them and grown them that I want to learn from them. The post is about growing myself personally…not growing my power or control. One of my favorite pictures in Scripture is when Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. He saw something in him he admired and wanted to learn from him. Thanks again for the input. mac

  5. I fully agree with the fact that I want, and desire to be around men that the Holy Spirit has invaded their life in such away that their life becomes a living well that springs up with inside them. I want to get all wet with what the Holy Spirit is doing with them. I want to get around them not because of their big teams, companies, networks, and/or visions but because of their relationship with the one who is all-knowing; powerful, and present. It is only because of their relationship with Christ, that Christ honors them in such a way that others want to be around them and are open for having their lives spoken into. For me Mac, you have become one of these type of men for me personally.

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