Like many people, I belong to a wide range of social media groups. They run the gamut from business, spiritual, running, health, animal well being, and book clubs.
More times than not, there is great information being shared by members. Discussions can be lively and often, push buttons.
Recently, in one spiritual group there was a discussion on why some people feel the need to have a big impact and play big. As a proponent of people stretching themselves and giving things their all, I have often counseled clients to play a bigger game in order to have a greater impact.
I’ve talked about the same thing during keynote presentations, breakout sessions, in blog posts and articles, and in books I’ve written.
I’ve also wondered why those of us who do believe it’s often necessary to play big upset others.
The discussion in the Facebook group went from casual with some members to downright upset by others.
Several people felt that “having a bigger impact” is canned language and the buzzwords of the day in the coaching industry. Some people do throw the phrase around without much thought as to what this really means.
Again, I have to wonder why some people get so upset with others suggesting we play a bigger game in order to have a greater impact.
Truth be told, there’s a lot area’s where playing a bigger game will serve on a very high level. Granted, some people are driven strictly by ego, but on the other hand, as humans we do have egos.
Ego is simply a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Sure, one’s ego can get very out of control and yet, one’s ego can drive them to do incredible feats that give them the ability to contribute in a big way.
An interesting consideration is that those who “play big” are actually in a position to contribute big. There are many very well known people who may be driven by ego AND a high purpose, that have done amazing things in the world for hundreds, thousands, even millions of people.
Does this mean that everyone who plays big will contribute big? Absolutely not. By the same token, those who are supposedly not “ego driven” do not necessarily have the best of intentions.
To be driven by ego is not necessarily a bad thing. It can all boil down to motive.
If one knows they can truly make a difference in a positive way by “playing big” what’s so wrong with this?
An issue to consider is that some people will immediately go to “It’s wrong to want to be seen and heard” simply because they, themselves, don’t want to. Yet, you look at some of the biggest issues going on today where “playing big” is what fueled change.
A few examples of people who had a vision and decided to play big can be found in recent history.
Hands Across America was a benefit event and publicity campaign staged on Sunday, May 25, 1986 in which approximately 6.5 million people held hands in a human chain for fifteen minutes along a path across the continental United States.
Team in Training is another example of playing big. In 1988, Bruce Cleland assembled a NYC Marathon team to raise money in honor of his daughter, a leukemia survivor. Although I’m sure he didn’t say, “Wow, I know I will get lots of kudos for this,” he was driven to make this a successful experience.
During the first run, 38 runners raised $322,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) work to discover new treatments for blood cancers.
Since that time, Team in Training has raised over $1 billion (yes, that’s billion) for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s work.
These are just two examples of how having the desire to have a huge impact truly did matter.
Again, it’s all about motive. Playing big for the sake of having a bigger impact need not be a bad thing. Truly, it can be one of the most important things a person can do.
What’s your take on playing big to have a great impact? Always good? Always bad? Or… it depends?