Karin’s Leadership Articles

The Secret To a Great Leap

by | Mar 1, 2016 | By Karin Hurt, Confident Humility |

It’s been almost 5 years since that fireside chat. My friend “Joe” and I were one of the last few remaining at our campsite fireside on our annual church camping trip. The embers were glowing and yes, there was a bit of whisky involved. I distinctly remember Val emerging from her nearby tent in her pajamas and explaining that although our conversation was “indeed fascinating,” she was tired, and to please keep it down. Clearly the conversation stuck with me, as I wrote about it a year later.

Over a year ago I had a debate with a friend that just keeps staying with me. His premise, “By the time we are in our 40s our path is set. Your potential is channeled. You are just not going to accomplish anything significant you haven’t already started…”

His words angered me more than they should, perhaps because I was preparing for my own leap into the leadership development space. Looking back, my frustration with him was most likely driven by my own fear. What if he was right? Maybe it was too late to follow this dream. I woke up the next morning worried I had given him a bit too much “encouragement.” We never spoke of that evening again.

Fast forward to this week, leap year 2016.

His wife approached me. “Joe’s got a great opportunity for a huge new job in a new city. It’s just perfect for him and for us. It’s all so new and exciting.”

Surprised and delighted, I leaned in to hear more. What she said next floored me.

“Joe shared something the other night, I thought you should know. He said that conversation you had by the fire really stuck with him and made him think. He believes it helped him to be open and confident when the recruiters called out of the blue with an offer to change course.”

Great leaps don’t start the moment our feet leave the cliff. They begin in the moment we open our hearts and minds to the possibility for more.

Your path is not set.

Stay open.

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Barbara Mannino

    Karin, Hope you will remember me. I interviewed you for several articles I wrote for Fox. Love your post today. The openness of heart and mind is the first step to being an intelligent adventurer and a lifelong learner. Indeed, there are adventures and opportunities around every corner. Our job is to be open to them because the possibilities for growth are endless.

    Barbara Mannino

    • Karin Hurt

      HI Barbara! Of course I remember you. So awesome to see you here. Thanks for your kind words. So agree, “our job is to be open to them.”

  2. Patti Porco

    Hi Karin!
    Perfect timing with today’s post. I recently left Verizon and am a bit nervous about pursuing an “encore career”. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Karin Hurt

      Patti, I have no doubt you will be successful at whatever you put your mind too. Stay open and enjoy the ride.

  3. Terri Klass

    I love your story and post, Karin!

    I agree that it sometimes take patience and persistence to follow our dreams. I know for me, that although I have been involved in social media for so many years, I hear from leads out of the blue many years later. It’s fascinating that when we don’t close ourselves off to trying new things and are willing to step out of our comfort zones, we can really set amazing courses for ourselves.

    You are a great coach!

    • Karin Hurt

      Terri, Thanks so much! I’ve experienced the same thing… it’s sometimes seems like the seeds we’re planting aren’t doing much, and then all the sudden, and beautiful garden appears.

  4. Malaika Serrano

    So true! Thank you for your post today, Karin.

    • Karin Hurt

      Thank you!

  5. cindy navarino

    Hey Karen — times are changing … I just ordered your book looking forward to reading it!

    • Karin Hurt

      Thanks so much! I’m so glad. If you like it, I hope you will leave an Amazon review 😉 That helps spread the word. Namaste.

  6. LaRae Quy

    What an amazing and affirming story!

    I totally agree with you—Joe and many others like him place limits around what they think they can do. Self-limiting beliefs are toxic because they are filled with words like “can’t” and “shouldn’t”.

    Complacency sets in and we are too timid to take the next step…

  7. Colleen R.

    Great post, your finally statement is very moving. As someone who is just graduating high school going to college and entering “the real world” is pretty scary. Going into college is a big leap for me, I need to remember the path that I start on may not be the one I finish. I hope to stay open to new things and not be afraid to take risks. Because the future is so unpredictable I need to remember that anything can happen and plans change, so even when I’m old and things change I won’t be scared to try something new. When it comes time for me to take a “leap” I hope to be ready.


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