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.