I was driving out to a business meeting in the California Central Valley listening to The Last Lecture audio book. A wonderful book filled with life lessons that author Randy Pausch offered for his children and as his legacy, I would not recommend it for long drives, since I frequently found myself brushing away tears as I changed lanes.
One of his lessons was that sometimes you just need to ask. I had to smile because as he was telling that story which revolved around a Disneyland ride, the phone rang interrupting the passage. It was the CEO of an interim management firm in Southern California. I had called her last week and left a message explaining who I was and that I was considering reprising my book, and since she was in the space I wondered if she would be willing to be interviewed. I was disappointed to have not received a return call, so her call while I was en route to Lodi was an unexpected pleasure.
We talked for quite awhile and she was highly supportive of my potential project. Toward the end of our conversation she paused and asked a bit tentatively if I had thought about a co-author and would I consider her. At that point my mind raced.
One issue I know I will have in updating my book is that I know longer run M Squared. M Squared had provided the laboratory for my work. I had surveyed our network of consultants for data about this demographic . Then I chose 16 of the most interesting and diverse consultants to interview in depth about their careers, motivations and aspirations. This yielded rich stories that added depth and texture to my book. I hadn’t been quite sure how I could gather those same insights.
Being a truthful person, I immediately mentioned this to my colleague, and she agreed that her network of over 50,000 consultants could absolutely be used for the project….50,000, I thought, that will certainly do. This is clearly a partnership to explore.
Randy Pausch was right. Sometime all you need to do is ask…