Think Big, Act Bold
I encourage you today to put timidity and fear aside and ask yourself two questions about your life, plans, and vision.
- Am I thinking big?
- Am I acting bold?
Ask these questions today and ask them often. And when you find that you are not, change course. Your world desperately needs you!
Four years ago, I met author and speaker Dr. Tony Baron at a conference. After we chatted for a while he gave me a copy of his latest book, The Art of Servant Leadership, and personalized the book with the following note:
To my friend Wes,
Cheers to thinking big and acting bold as a servant leader,
Mark 10:45, Tony Baron
These simple words resonated with me then -– and to this day I refer to them when I need to refocus and strengthen my resolve. Today, I want to share them with you.
I don’t know about you, but my instinct is not to think big, but to think safe and small. My inclination is not to act bold, but to act with timidity and hesitation. And my tendency is not to serve others, but to serve myself.
Today I want to invite you and me to reject this natural instinct. Let us commit to this together: (say it aloud)
I resolve that in whatever I do,
I will think big, act bold, and serve others!
So here are some thoughts to help you…
How to Think Big – (Where you are going?)
Five signs to know if your thinking is big:
- It inspires you and inspires others.
- It scares you and scares others.
- Many people around you, even the ones close to you, think “you are crazy.”
- Failure may mean real pain and loss.
- It invigorates you and lights a fire in your belly.
Thinking big starts with dedicating time to think – intentional thinking. While thinking big is not fantasy thinking (ex: if you are five feet tall, dreaming of becoming an NBA player may not be feasible), big thinking and fantasy thinking are close cousins. So get comfortable in thinking outside the box.
Act Boldly – (How do you approach getting things done?)
Five signs to know if you are acting boldly:
- You regularly act on your big thoughts.
- You act even if you are not 100% sure.
- You always try something new.
- You forge forward regardless of howling winds of rejection, criticism, and failure.
- You act when you have a gut instinct.
Remember that acting boldly does not mean acting at the wrong time – be patient and wait for God’s timing. It does not mean acting in the wrong manner – don’t be reckless. And it does not mean acting in a hurtful way to others – just don’t be hurtful!
Don’t Let Dream Killers Close – (Who do you listen to?)
Before I release you, let me tell you what I think the number one killer of big thinking and bold action is – small thinking people, and people afraid to fail!
People around me can kill or can build my big thinking and bold action. Whether I admit it or not, people I love, those whom I truly listen to, have an astounding impact on my thinking and action. So, be clear as to the gifts the people around you have. Here is how I divide my “inner circle” (those who love me and have my best interests at heart) and try to deal with this issue.
- The Encouragers – Whatever you do, they believe in you. These people fill your bucket.
- The Big Thinkers – When you share with them a big dream, they tell you should think bigger. They even help you enlarge your thinking and dreams.
- The Correctors – They immediately jump to find the errors in your thinking – and they are good at it.
- The Realists – They bring you back to reality and help you focus on what is, not on what can be.
Identify who has what gift. We naturally want the correctors’ and realists’ approval. Listen to me carefully…do not go to them first. They will kill your dream and your big thoughts. They have a role, but not at the beginning of your dream.
So as you move forward, spend some time and assess these key people in your life!
Dr. Baron ended his small remark with “Mark 10:45.” Here is what that verse says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
If you value the impact of effective leadership, and if you honor Jesus as a perfect leader, this verse should stay with you – always!
So live with purpose and passion! Think big! Act bold! But most importantly, do it for the right reasons – lead like Jesus led, lead for the sake of others!
PS: I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Tony Baron recently and will be sharing that with you soon. Dr. Baron is a world-renowned author, speaker, and professor of leadership at Azusa Pacific University. I am happy to announce that he will be bringing leadership teaching to the Aspire community through videos, blogs, and live events. I will keep you updated and introduce you formally to him soon.