This was brought home to me most when I got Sir Alex Ferguson to endorse my book simply because I rang him direct – spoke to his PA and managed to get an exchange of correspondence with him that resulted in the book endorsement
The ‘easy’ option would have been to tell myself it was impossible to actually get to the great man but when I pushed at the door, sure enough, it was ajar.
It has always been my experience that the thing that holds us back most from being bold enough to achieve what we really want is our own reluctance to just ‘try things’ that might seem out of our reach. I imagine many people give up because they fear a negative or non-response.
I remember Tom Peters saying he asked his friend Bob Waterman when they were both senior consultants at McKinsey ‘How do you become a partner at McKinsey?’ and Waterman replied – ‘You just start acting like a partner and they will make you one.’ – So he did and they did!
I’m not pretending this is easy for some people and of course we are not all Tom Peters. Another important thing to remember is that Being Bold mustn’t be confused with being pushy, over confident or at worst arrogant. We have to have some insight about when the door is shut or even locked. That insight is partly about intuition and partly experience. But I really don’t think it's terribly complicated.
Like any other management or leadership skill we have to practice to make it work for us. I’m sure with practice we will get better about making the right call about pushing at the door or recognising when the door is definitely not for opening.