People often discuss the hardest things in life to ask for – and recently, I’ve heard the same two answers: money and help. While I agree, from my vantage point, the hardest ask is for someone’s time.
I have been reminded of this in recent weeks as we planned ParenteBeard’s Corporate Governance and Audit Committee Forum. This year, we built a dynamic panel of speakers – a real “wow!” – with former FBI Director, Louis Freeh, serving as our Keynote Speaker. Other contributors include Jeanette Franzel, Board Member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; Lon Greenberg, Chairman of UGI; Eileen McDonnell, CEO of Penn Mutual Life; Robert Schimek, CEO of the Americas for AIG Property Casualty; Tom Smith, Vice President of Corporate Audit at Campbell Soup Company and Alan Stone, Practice Group Leader of Litigation & Arbitration Group with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
In securing this panel of speakers, the final “ask” for many of them was on me. And when you ask someone to give their time, you immediately feel a different sense of responsibility. You want the experience to be worth their time. You want to be sure that it’s a “wow” for them too. You realize that you are asking for something that there’s just too little of for all of us these days.
I feel fortunate that all of those we asked to participate in our Forum saw the value of this event and graciously agreed to share their time and expertise. But it isn’t lost on me that there might have been other “asks” of them for that afternoon. I am deeply grateful but I am also relieved that I don’t have to make this “ask” again until 2014!
What asks do you struggle with? What have been your experiences in asking for a person’s time or perhaps, in being asked to give of your time?
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