The Biggest Egg I Ever Laid…The “I Laid An Egg And Lived” Contest
In last Friday’s message my Mom’s gift was helping me learn to lose.
While the platitude “failure is not an option” is a wonderful motivational battle cry, we must learn to miss the mark from time to time as it is inevitable in all our lives. I have heard this light heartedly referred to as “laying an egg”. Let me share one such moment from my life.
In January 2002, after being VP of Sales with Southern Living at Home for only 6 months, I laid an egg in Chicago, in front of 800 Sales Representatives and their spouses. It was my responsibility to deliver the closing talk bringing the meeting to a crescendo, causing our sales force to leave that room and keep the company on the huge growth trajectory that had begun.
A good friend and wonderfully talented woman Connie Ashburn and her husband Dave spoke before me. Their comments were light, created much laughter, while making salient points, it was just plain fun, the right moment for that place in time. I had prepared comments that were more sentimental and failed to realize I needed to readjust quickly following Connie & Dave’s wonderful comments.
Over the next 20 minutes of my life I stuttered, I stammered, I completely missed the opportunity to close the meeting effectively, all the while with 800 people witnessing this disaster.
It began with two stories I had used all the time effectively, that bombed, because I did not read the atmosphere in the room.
In one story I talked about a monkey getting “whapped on the head” and everyone gasped and thought only of that image, rather than the point I was making. To make a point about urgency, I told a fictional story about a brother whose sister just died and he was looking at the “good plates” she never used and her finest jewelry “she never wore” as she was always waiting for the “right moment”. People mistakenly thought I was talking specifically about my sister and an atmosphere of sadness was created with some people crying at my imagined loss.
Then my good friend Angie Como accidentally leaned on the master light switch and the whole room went dark for 20-30 seconds. The CEO of the company Bill Shaw was sitting in the front row and I heard him ask, “what the heck is all this”? It was 20 minutes of utter failure. So much so that the next weekend I was benched in Atlanta with a crowd of 1500 and Bill closed the meeting.
I didn’t lay an egg; I laid a baker’s dozen!
Had my Mom not helped me learn to miss the mark I would have placed blame onto others, found blame in the situation, would have absolved myself of all responsibility and would have crumbled from fear and embarrassment…never to try again.
Instead the embarrassment faded, I learned the importance of planning several directions to begin a talk based upon the mood of the room and from that moment of failure, because of my Mom, I turned it into a great learning experience and today I am a one of a kind, outstanding speaker because of it.
The “I Laid An Egg And Lived” Contest
Post your brief comment, on the post mirroring this one at:
Facebook…“Jerry Vitale Platform Speaker”
Sharing an “egg you laid and lived” moment.
The “laid egg” comment that gets the most likes will be a “Guest Gift Giver” on “You’re A Gift”. You and I will have a recorded telephone interview that will become one of the Friday audio messages in this series. You, your story, your words, your gifts will become a part of all the “You’re A Gift” listeners lives.
We all lay eggs and it’s wonderful to be reminded that we can lay an egg, even a whole nest full, and still find joy, happiness, success in all our endeavors, and know that we are still valuable, capable and worthy of wonderful things.
Don’t be chicken, let’s hear from you!
The deadline for commenting and liking is this Friday, May 9th, 2014.
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