To many, public speaking is one of the most dreaded things to do in a person’s life. International author and leadership practitioner Mark Sanborn, on the other hand, loves it.
His first speech was delivered during a contest when Sanborn was just 10 years old, of which he lost quite badly. Such loss (and humiliation) would have traumatised any child, but for Sanborn, he decided to give it a try again. Eventually, public speaking become his passion and vocation.
This might interest you: The Art Of Public Speaking
With Leaderonomics entering a strategic partnership with Success Resources, we ask Sanborn a few questions, as well as those from our Thinkonomics set, a gameplay that consists of various thinking questions based on our five Leaderonomics values:
“In the past, leaders were those who knew the right answers. Today, leaders are those who know the right questions.” – Mark Sanborn
Getting to know Sanborn
1. Who is your role model in life, and why?
I am a follower of Jesus Christ. So, I am called to imitate him in my worldview.
2. What was your greatest life lesson, and why?
Persistence pays. If you do the right things long enough, you will always succeed.
3. What drives you in life?
The goal to make a positive contribution to those around me and enjoy the process of doing so.
4. How should one ‘grow leaders’ and ‘drive change’?
You grow leaders by supporting them through education, encouragement and examples. Driving change is about determining what change will improve the present situation and then enlisting the support and brainpower of others to figure out how to achieve it.
5. What advice would you give for someone who wants to be like you?
Don’t. Be the best YOU that you can be. Learn from others, emulate what made them successful, but never lose your own unique sense of identity in the process.
Now, thinking questions from Thinkonomics set
1. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? [Value: Giving]
The same work I do now really – speaking, writing and advising. I’ve always tried to blur the lines between what I do for fun and what I do for profit. The best work combines making money with making meaning.
2. What are two impossible things you have done in your life? [Value: Growth]
If I’ve achieved them, then they only seemed impossible before I did them. Having an international bestselling book (The Fred Factor) is a source of great pride and something that I didn’t think I’d achieve. And as a kid who was overweight and not very athletic, the distance-running, skiing and other sports I’ve mastered over the years prove that change is possible for all of us.
3. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? [Value: Relationships]
I wouldn’t. The quality of life isn’t determined by how long you live, but by how well you live. My goal is always to make the most of every day, since none of us knows how many days we will ultimately have.
4. What kind of future do you want your children/grandchildren to live in? [Value: Building the future]
A future where they are free to pursue any dream they have that doesn’t infringe on the dreams or rights of others.
5. If you had to empower someone, what would you consider as your basic checklist before empowering him/her? [Value: Empowering]
Integrity, the ability to make good decisions and the commitment to execute on those decisions.
Food for thought
An author of eight books thus far, Sanborn once quoted this, “We each know how good we have become, but none of us knows how good we can be. One of the most exciting opportunities we get each day is to pursue our potential.”