Ask for It

(Author’s Note:  Today’s post is inspired by the song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones.)

I saw her today at the reception

A glass of wine in her hand

I knew she would meet her connection

At her feet was her footloose man


No, you can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime you find

You get what you need

Too often, we have a dream, a vision, an idea of how we’d like things to be.  And, yet, we fail to ask for what we want.  We hem and haw, afraid to offend or appear “too aggressive.”  What if we changed direction and simply went for it?

I was reminded of the benefit of asking for what we want during a lunch meeting today.  A friend had connected me with a young woman several months ago and we finally made time to get together in person.  She was describing her new job and telling me how excited she is about the company, its leadership and the important and exciting work that she and her colleagues are doing.  When I asked how she landed the opportunity, she told me that she ran into a former colleague who was now running a new division of a firm.  Listening to her former colleague talk about the activity of the organization, my contact simply said, “Do you have any extra room on your team?  I’d sure love to join you.”  Voila!  She got the assignment!

It seems that asking for what we actually want positions us – and our contacts – for ultimate success.  As in the case of the example described above, not only do we have passion and energy for the work at hand, but our contact will be delighted to enlist a partner in the work he/she is doing, too.  I know it can seem a little daunting to be so bold as to ask for something directly, but, really, what’s the worst thing that can happen?  You can’t win if you don’t play, right?  So, consider this:

  • Picture Success. If you could create your ideal job or relationship or client or opportunity, what would it look like?  Close your eyes.  Envision it.  Write it down if it helps you to focus.  Then, go get it.
  • Ask for It. Do you know who can help deliver the proverbial golden ring?  Ask them for it.  Tell them why you are best qualified to take possession of that ring and how it will benefit them.  Have your evidence in hand.  Do your homework.  Understand the needs of the other party. Show them how you will make their life easier if they deliver the ring to you!
  • Have a Plan B. Be prepared for the answer to be “No,” and come up with your next best alternative.  Who knows… perhaps the ultimate outcome, though not identical to your vision, will be even better in its new iteration.  Perhaps you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.

Do you have a story of a time when you did — or did not — ask for what you wanted?  What was the outcome?  Were you scared?  How did you handle the ask?  How did it go?  Please take a moment to share your comments with the CLC Community at

Happy Networking!

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