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New Thinking For A Better FutureSample

New Thinking For A Better Future

DAY 1 OF 5

The way I think has changed over the years, and I’ve noticed the change even more in the recent past. Not long ago, I was asked to speak at a two-day event on the other side of the world. The offer was, by all measures, extraordinarily generous: first-class travel and accommodations, an ample honorarium, and an invitation for my wife, Brenda, to come along so we could enjoy a few extra days of vacation while we were there. 

A few years earlier, I would have looked at my calendar and if the dates were open, I would have instantly told them “yes.” But in this season of my life, I wanted to think differently about the opportunity. I asked, “What do you expect to happen in the lives of the people who attend the event? What will be the long-term, existential impact on them?” 

I could tell they assumed I would give a transactional response to their transactional offer. I sensed their frustration, so I explained:

“Let me tell you where I am in my life. I’m asking more questions about what I choose to do or not do. Here’s what I want to know about my choices: Will every activity give me the opportunity to influence influencers? And can I be part of a leadership journey instead of just a leadership event? I’m not opposed to events, but I want to be assured that each event where I participate leads to a multiplied influence. I’m more interested in investing in long-term, existential impact than just isolated events. If I say ‘yes’ to the event, will we also commit to a relationship in which I work with your organization to build leaders after the event? I understand the event itself has value—but it has value to me only if I can participate with the organization to have a deeper, wider, longer impact. That’s my focus today.”

I thought I had explained myself very well, but one of them immediately began talking about the fee they were offering me. He had completely missed what I’d been telling them! His thought process was still transactional; so far, my existential reasoning hadn’t made a dent. A few years before, the questions of the calendar and fees would have been at the top of my list, but now those questions were maybe fifth and sixth…while they were still one and two on this organization’s list.


Day 2

About this Plan

New Thinking For A Better Future

With candor, humor, and personal stories, Sam Chand peels back the layers of our assumptions to challenge us to think more deeply, more clearly, and more productively than ever before. He addresses fundamental topics all...


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