It never hurts to ask.

Managers – do you know what’s holding your people back from having difficult conversations with you or moving from good to great? You might need to back it up and spend some time understanding their core motivations.

It was the Thursday before the final weekend of 20 show run of The Nutcracker.

Everyone I knew was coming to the final show on Sunday, my last Nutcracker performance of my senior year.

I should have been over the moon excited, years of hard work culminating in this final weekend. I was dancing a number of different roles – Bo Peep, Tea, Spanish, Dolls, Snow…

But I was bummed. I wanted to dance the role of Dewdrop fairy for that final performance.

I had rehearsed Dewdrop all season – mostly as an understudy and had performed it for a few school shows – but I really wanted to finish out my Nutcracker career with a bang.

So I had a decision to make. I could either go ahead as planned or get up the courage to ask the director if she would change the Sunday cast. I was petrified to ask. No one ever asked for a cast change. If she said yes, would I be ready? Would the other dancers be resentful if they had to rearrange on my behalf?

But I told myself, If I don’t ask, I’ll always regret it.

And so I did, and she said yes. I performed the role. I gave it my all and loved every second, minus the one where I almost fell off the stage finishing my fouttee turns. Eek. It was beyond meaningful, and it’s hard to believe that it almost didn’t happen.

John Rockefeller said, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” I knew what I wanted, I knew that I had prepared, and I knew that no one was going to read my mind and hand me what I wanted. I had to make the move.

It never hurts to ask – it’s worth it to have difficult conversations if it means that you are moving towards a meaningful goal for yourself. Let’s talk about how you can get there.

Katie Wynn