How to Prepare for the Big Gulp Moments

Look up. Notice anything different? 

This bi-weekly email has a new name! That’s right: Welcome to the Big Gulp newsletter. Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking about the work I’m doing. As a disruption leader, that work is ever-changing, but one thing I want to remain constant is my underlying message: to recognize those big gulp moments and to seize them.

Truly, the key question is:

Who are you going to be when that big gulp moment arrives?

That big gulp moment might be one we all share. The reality of our collective global permacrisis, the fast pace of new technologies, or the mega transformational phase of generative AI. It might be one for you alone. A job shift, a new career opportunity, or a need to rise to an unforeseen challenge.

When you do face a big gulp moment, it's going to feel dangerous. You're going to be at that edge looking over a precipice, and your palms are going to be sweaty, and your heart is going to be beating through your chest. 

Who are you going to be?

Are you going to be that person who steps back into their comfort zone? Who retreats from that edge?

Or are you going to go right up to it and step over, into the uncertainty, driven by the possibility of growth? 

If you aren’t sure, I’ve got some good news.

You can actually train for that big gulp moment. You can prepare by having a discipline of disruption built into the things you do every day, by making little gulp decisions that nudge at your comfort zone and the status quo. 

That's where you get the confidence—and courage—to make those big gulp decisions.

I came face to face with one of these moments last fall. I was speaking at an event and had the opportunity to do a workout with Joe De Sena, the founder of Spartan Race. I’m in decent shape, but I chickened out. That didn’t feel good. 

So I signed up to do a Spartan race in early June. I’ve since been determined to get in the best shape of my life but to do so in a sustainable way. Training consists of running, strength training, and burpees—many, many burpees. With each step and pull, I think about how I’m taking these little gulps to be ready for that big gulp race. 

Your turn. Ask yourself: When that big gulp moment arrives, will you be ready?

— Charlene

What I Can’t Stop Talking About: 

  • My new website. Something that needed to be disrupted:! Pop over to my fresh, new site for every detail you could want on my speaking engagements, my advising services, and my thought leadership—all in one beautiful place.

  • My free course—for a limited time only! Generative AI isn’t just going to inform the future of work. It’s going to fully transform it. That’s the subject of my latest LinkedIn Learning course, which has just been unlocked through April 5, along with 200 other LinkedIn AI courses, to drive awareness to the importance of taking action in the age of AI.

  • My upcoming book. If you’re reading this, you are the target audience for my new book, Winning with Generative AI. Sign up to get updates and early access, and if your organization has more than $100M in revenues, please take this short survey—you’ll receive highlights and insights available only to participants, as well as a customized benchmark of where your organization stands against other participants. 

  • Libraries as the new co-working space. I had a few hours to kill in Austin before my flight, so I hopped over to the beautiful Austin Central Library where my former college roommate works. What a beautiful space! Consider visiting your library the next time you need a place to sit and think. 

My Latest: 

  • Agents are the new bots. Imagine a world without your traditional email inbox. That world isn’t far from reality. Generative AI should be making you completely rethink how you interact with technology, and the coming rise of the AI agent is merely the next phase in this period of mega transformation. To prepare yourselves, watch my latest livestream or read my LinkedIn newsletter

  • The biggest challenges facing executives. Leaders are facing bigger challenges now than ever before when it comes to being truly disruptive—and transformational. As a veteran advisor, it’s my calling to help execs sort through them. In Leading Disruption, I walk through five ways to address leadership roadblocks in a disrupted workplace. 

  • The moment for AI is now. Hot take: AI isn’t technology. It’s not a tool. Rather, it’s a paradigm shift—one that you need to make now, if you haven’t already. Tune in to my livestream tomorrow, March 19 at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET on LinkedIn and Facebook Live for three ways organizations can prepare.

My Upcoming Appearances:

If you are interested in having me speak at an upcoming event or to your executive team, please drop me a note at [email protected]

Thank you for subscribing to The Big Gulp Newsletter, which goes out to thousands of disruptors every other week to help you on your disruption journey—plus a curated recommendation list of the things I can’t stop talking about. 

Want more? Check out my weekly publication, Leading Disruption, on LinkedIn.

If you found this note helpful, please forward and share it with someone who needs the inspiration today. If you were forwarded this, please consider subscribing.

Charlene Li

If you found this note helpful, please forward and share it with someone who needs the inspiration today. If you were forwarded this, please consider subscribing.