I am a perpetual learner. I like to learn. I was not always like this, but I have learned that with knowledge comes power. Not like the “I want to rule the world” power, but more like access. Access to people, discussions and resources (yes, money is considered a resource). When I was getting ready to go to a leadership seminar put on by www.klemmer.com and I was asked to reach out to my mentors and let them know what kind of impact they had on me, I learned something: I learned was how nervous I was to call the person. One of my biggest mentors is Dan T. Cathy, the president of CFA. I have known him for 20 years and have to say, I respect him as a father to his kids, as a businessman, and as a Christian. I have known him for 20 years, but to call him on the phone made me nervous. ME, the “ready, FIRE, aim” guy? YES.
I started thinking about why I was so nervous. This was 2 years ago, and since that time, I continue to talk to Dan about 2 or 3 times a year. I even met up with him and flew in his jet to some grand openings. Even after all of those experiences, I am still nervous each time I talk to him.
The nervousness comes from the tapes that play in my head. Tapes, stories, self talk, call it what you want, but its those messages that pop into your head telling yourself things like: “You’re not good enough,” “Why would he have time for you?” “He has bigger or better things to do with his time.”
When I did speak with him on the phone he was nothing but gracious, cordial and even supported what I was doing.
Even with all this, those tapes go off when I need to reach out to him. I have to center myself and know this: If you are reaching out to someone, it’s not your responsibility to make the decision for them, it’s theirs. If they are too stupid to say no when they should have due to them not planning well, or they are too busy, then maybe you need to look at why you want to meet with them. I have to tell myself that it’s not my problem to make decisions for them.If you want to learn from people, reach out. Don’t talk yourself out of it.