Leadership:  How do you show up?

Part 3.  Think Bigger.

Recently I heard the former publisher of our local business newspaper speak to a group of community leaders on “What I Don’t Miss About Being in the Media.”

There was the typical Q & A session following his remarks. Someone asked what he would have done differently during his tenure in this high profile job.

After a moment’s pause (while he reflected how many times he’d asked that question of others!) he finally said,

“I would have thought bigger.”


A surprising answer from a strong leader who is generally regarded as one of the bigger thinkers in our town!

So–why DON’T we think bigger?

Some things I hear a lot:

– This is a tough environment. Banks won’t lend, customers won’t commit, and the economic future is still uncertain. Not the time to launch big growth, bigger new ideas.

– No resources. If I just had a bigger budget I could ………..

– There’s no time for anything else in my life. I’m so busy doing ……… I can’t find a minute to stop and think about anything new.

– I’m not the right person to do that. I don’t have enough money, enough power, I’m not smart enough.

– If I did that, I might look like I don’t know what I’m talking about.

What I’m hearing is limiting beliefs. And they always play a part in keeping us in the status quo, not able to realize our full potential.

I reflected on how I could think bigger. What would I do differently if I could get out of my own way?


For starters, I would challenge my current habits about spending my time and my money. I would stop focusing on financial security and be eternally thankful that I live in America, the true land of opportunity.

Second, I would expect more of the people I interact with every day, because I’m pretty sure they’re up to it. Why should I impose my own limiting beliefs on others?

And finally, I would see “time” as a dimension of possibility, instead of the daily “limiting factor.” I would “make” time for all the really important people in my life and stop “wasting” time on the trivial and the unimportant.

That’s what I would do if I thought bigger. What would you do? Email me at jean@jeanlauterbach.com.