My book, Playing Big, will be coming out in early June. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this sneak peek at the introduction. If you would like the complete e-teaser for Playing Big, including the introduction and the first six chapters, please email me:


“You are a child of God; your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”

-Marianne Williamson



This is perfect. I postponed my first meeting on this book with my collaborator because… well, because I’m terrified! Who are you to write a book?! Especially one with such a lofty title? My guts are churning, not only because it feels like I can’t write this book, but because I know I have to! I rescheduled for tomorrow. How much confidence does it inspire in your author to know he almost didn’t write this book?!

– S.D.A., 1 November 2011


HONESTY is usually a good first move, especially at the beginning of a relationship. The truth is,  writing this book was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. So when you hear me extolling the benefits of Playing Big as this text unfolds, telling of the rewards it can bring you and those around you, know that when I started, I felt anything but big. That’s one of the truisms I want you to know right up front– that feeling small is an early and often inevitable consequence of Playing Big.


But there’s something that steadies me, and I believe it will steady you. In my initial shaky days, I came to a realization. That all the big things I had done in my life, the things that, in the end, really mattered to me– my marriage, my kids, my coaching business– all began with that same shaky feeling. Like at the outset I’d been endowed with the original feet of clay, and to take even the first cautious steps toward my dreams would land me face down in inextricable mud. Each of those key ventures– proposing to my wife, having our first child, starting a program to help war-torn service members– all seemed to stretch my will, my faith, my finances and sometimes my sanity.


Looking back at those accomplishments, I see now that Playing Big is not just a way to maximize your gifts and leave a memorable mark in this life. It’s the only way. If, as a culture, we’re to move beyond our fears and really grasp the wheel and take the road less travelled, we have to be willing to stretch ourselves. As professional runners like Roger Bannister know, the first time is the toughest. Your hamstring pulls mightily to return to its accustomed posture. The next day it hurts. But the day after, as you keep stretching, it gets a little easier—and then a little more. Finally you’re sprinting around the track in a way you could not have imagined a short time before.


Playing Big isn’t about selfishness. It’s about tapping into everything God gave you so you can make a better marriage, a better workplace, even a better world. And it begins when you recognize that feeling small, standing with knocking knees at the edge of that grand precipice is the very feeling that precedes great things. Marianne Williamson was right. Deep down it’s our greatness, not our smallness that we most fear.


Once you realize that and put that belief into action, you’ll be amazed at what’s possible—even in a short time. I’ll show you how two of my proudest accomplishments got up and running in only ninety days. Through it all, I’ve learned another important thing—that the capacity for Playing Big is not only for the gifted few. It’s there for all of us. All you need is to get in touch with what you really want in this life and work a plan to get there. This book will help you do that.


Are you ready to stretch?