5 Ways to Achieve Remarkable Results by Making the Big Ask

You limit the potential of your team if you can’t ask them to take on big challenges.

Ask people to do a lot if you expect them to achieve a lot. Ask people to make important contributions if you expect them to feel important. 


Ask for a lot. Give a lot.

Success requires both challenge and support. An ‘ask’ – apart from support – creates resentment and disengagement. Support – without a big ask – invites slacking self-indulgence.

5 ways to make a big ask:

  1. Ask people to do what they love to do.
  2. Ask people to leverage their strength and talent.
  3. Ask people to do things that stretch their capacity and expand their potential.
  4. Ask people to do things that align with their values.
  5. Ask people how they would like to contribute.

Bonus: Ask people to build their own future.

10 ways to overcome reluctance to make the big ask:

  1. Be a person who contributes to others. Pour into others so others can pour out for others.
  2. Work with people who are eager to contribute.
  3. Connect with people before you make an ask. Don’t use connecting as a manipulation to soften people up. Connect with people to learn about their passions and aspirations.
  4. Don’t beat around the bush. Explain the need and make the ask.
  5. Give people an opportunity to respond to your request. Don’t answer for them.
  6. Ask others, “Who might be interested in doing this project?”
  7. Make small asks before making big.
  8. Make it OK for people to say no, as long as they’re already contributing to the cause. When people can’t say, “No,” an ask is really a tell.
  9. Accept people who aren’t as committed to optional opportunities as you are.
  10. Notice the effort, energy, talent, and discipline it takes to fulfill your asks, not simply the end result.

How might leaders/managers ask teams or individuals to take on big challenges or opportunities?