Everyone attempting an audacious goal needs an angel. It might be an angel investor or an angel partner. The angel may be the listening ear or the helping hand.
An angel is a mystic or mythical figure who delivers heavenly messages or assistance.
Using the term “angel” isn’t a normal part of business language, definitely not corporate jargon. Entrepreneurs use the term but only within looking for angel investors. We don’t see it in leadership books or even any business communication books. Most cringe at the thought of a overtly religious phrase being inverted into any business discussion. So why this word at this time?
My graduate study and specifically Ph.D. dissertation examined how language holds the emotional power to create and destroy, villainize and victimize. I introduce words from outside the normal realm of my executive coaching client’s reality to encourage, challenge, and provoke their ultimate progress. Language holds a unique opportunity to help us in our audacious goal. To that extent, please read the rest of this piece with an open mind. I’m not here to discuss religion but, like Kenneth Burke in The Rhetoric of Religion (1970), I’m using religious language to help us better understand our reality and opportunities.
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Everyone strategically working toward an audacious goal is entering the realm of the impossible. They, you, and me, are attempting an audacious goal which we have never done before. If, and when, we accomplish it, we experience what could easily be labeled a “heavenly experience.”
But the word “angel” applies in many other ways. An angel delivers a much needed, i.e., heavenly, message. As we leave the world of ordinary, we will need the support of at least one if not many angels. The critic’s voice is magnified in number and volume. We will be told our audacious goal is frivolous, misguided, or even stupid. Their messages are devilish, demoralizing, and often disabling unless countered by an angelic voice. In the midst of the darkest night, at that point where everyone struggles mightily, we need to hear an angel.
Who is your angel?
Whose angel are you?
An angel invests in the heavenly quest. Sometimes it is money, other times, labor, and still others involve emotional support. The angel has but one purpose, to help reach that audacious, heavenly goal. The angel helps carry the load, sometimes providing miraculous strength.
Who is your angel?
How are they helping you pivot to your next, best opportunity?
Whose angel are you?
How are you helping them pivot and reach their audacious goal?
Many don’t think they need an angel because they are strong enough. But as the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner, in 10 Minutes of Insanity (2016) likes to say, “if you can do it by yourself, your goal isn’t big enough.” Everyone needs an angel. If you don’t, maybe your goal isn’t audacious at all. Maybe its just another ordinary goal that you think is audacious.
Is your goal audacious enough to need an angel?
Some misunderstand those who challenge themselves with audacious goals. They see the audacious challenger as strong and independent, not needing help, much less that of an angel. Meanwhile, the audacious challenger suffers in silence, unwilling to compromise their reputation. So they suffer in silence, too often unable to silence the critic’s voice shouting from within. They suffer silently without an angel to help drown out the negative. The audacious feat saps their mental and emotional strength to fight the inner doubts that resonate loudest at their most vulnerable point in the journey.
When do you need your angel the most?
What happens when an angel doesn’t appear?
How do you persevere?
How willing are you to ask for help?
The audacious leader needs a team of angels but too often they are just employees doing a job. That leader needs a team of collaborative spirits who appreciate the devilish demands of heavenly aspirations. Not only do the team members need to do their respective jobs, but they also need to embrace the spirit of the challenge. This isn’t just a job, it is a quest for the ultimate. It is all consuming, especially for the entrepreneurial leader. Doing great things requires good people working together. The audacious cannot be reached with one inspired person unequally yoked with disengaged teammates. They must all pull together otherwise they hold the inspired back.
Are you your leader’s angel?
Are you helping or hurting their pivotal, audacious quest?
Are you offering your mind, body, and spirit?
Givers and Takers
Adam Grant (in Give and Take, 2016) separates givers from takers and matchers. The givers freely give to help others, as I would add, unleash the ultimate and achieve audacious results. Meanwhile, takers, often high achievers, take much more than they give. They think success comes at another’s expense because they only know how to compete. They have no clue how to willingly collaborate. The matchers keep score, only giving if the sheet balances. But the giver willingly sacrifices to collaborate. They challenge others with audacious goals knowing they want a team willing to celebrate each other in the process of winning together. It’s not just doing the impossible, it is doing it the right way with the right people. Givers succeed because they are each other’s angels. Takers win and lose because they believe angels are to be used for selfish gains. Givers are the angels. Takers are the demons.
Are you a giver or a taker?
Are you an angel or a demon?
Do you make others better?
Or do you always need to be seen in the best light?
Maybe the worst thing that could happen is for the angel to fall. That person whose message was to help another with an audacious goal, became the critic. Instead of helping, they hurt with the critic’s voice, delivering doubt at the moment of opportunity. Maybe they selfishly clamored for the limelight or demanded an inordinate amount of praise. Maybe they demanded their share first, or more than their share of the profits later.
What do your actions say? Are you being a giver, an angel, or a taker, a demon?
Look for the angels. The old prophet tells us that we often entertain angels unaware. We see them as ordinary individuals just doing their job. Open your eyes and spirit. Appreciate those that help you in your audacious goal by delivering a needed message or helping hand.
Are you seeing the angels surrounding you?
Your challenge is to be their angel. This is especially true if you are the audacious leader. Set the example for your team. Be the angel who sings their praises and leaves them in awe of what your team is doing. As a team member, and we all serve this role even as the leader, be their angel. Be the person who makes their lives better. Anticipate their pain and come alongside of them to alleviate it. When you do that, you become their angel delivering a miracle.
Deliver a miracle. I like how author Bruce Wilkinson boldly states this calling in You Were Born for This (2009). It’s not just something we do. Being an angle and delivering miracles is our purpose and mission. That is what we want to do as audacious leaders. We aren’t content with ordinary, earthly results but rather innovative, inspiring, might we say, heavenly results. We all want to succeed by doing what others consider impossible. Isn’t that what makes us audacious leaders?
The takers will hesitate before affirming that purpose, but the givers understand it thoroughly. Our purpose is to change their world so radically that they never want to return to the old product or service. The new far outweighs the old. It is so much better that our new, loyal customers rave about us. “You’re awesome.” “That’s fantastic.” “You have changed my life.”
That’s what angels do. They make the impossible possible with a word or action. They deliver miracles, or at least, bring a heavenly message of hope and purpose.
Decide if you want to be an angel. Deliberately decide whether you want to be a giver, taker, or matcher. It doesn’t matter what you have been before, decide what you want to be. Choose to embrace the spirit of the audacious leader.
Deliver heavenly messages. Be the audacious leader or team member who encourages and inspires. Be the one who counters the critics by seeing the impossible and encouraging others to reach for it. Anyone can be a demonic naysayer disabling dreams. It takes an angel to usher those willing to enter the heavenly realm of the impossible.
Deliver the miracles by helping in their time of need. Zig Ziglar illustrated how compassionate giving is the best business practice. “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”Zig Ziglar
THINK BIGGER: Become an angel.
REACH HIGHER! Deliver the positive and powerful message. Help them in their time of need.
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE: Build a team of angels that share the same spirit, celebrate each other, and challenge themselves with audacious goals.
Loren Murfield, PhD
Total Career Growth works with leaders and entrepreneurs in small business, sales, and Real Estate to think bigger and reach higher to find their breakthrough success. Contact me to begin thinking bigger.
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