Back Off; It’s Mine! (A tale of missed opportunity)
“I hope you don’t often feel the breeze of an opportunity passing you by.”
Carol Strider (aka Heather’s mom)
I was traveling a while ago and overheard someone say, “you did not lose the opportunity; someone simply wanted it more.”
I contemplated that statement…the entire context of the statement for that matter…for days.
I didn’t lose an opportunity; instead, it was taken by someone who wanted it more.
And as I thought about all of the things I had assumed “were lost” I realized, fairly quickly, that indeed, I didn’t want them as much as someone else did.
- I didn’t want to invest the time as much as someone else did.
- I didn’t want to grow as much as someone else did.
- I didn’t want to take the risk as much as someone else did.
- I didn’t want to invite the stress as much as someone else did.
- I didn’t want to expend the resources as much as someone else did.
It was a sobering mental exercise but I am thankful I did it. While it humbled me to no end, it also highlighted a theme or otherwise illuminated a specific, albeit personal issue.
I was comfortable and, as many business leaders can be, comfortable enough not to expend the effort often associated with a new opportunity.
My mental exercise communicated that I had become complacent in my comfort zone. It had been awhile since I’d been “hungry” and even longer since I had to hunt. I wasn’t proving I could respond and adapt to emerging challenges because honestly, I wasn’t putting myself in the path of conflict, barriers or growth.
The crazy thing is this; organizational performance, workforce and leadership development, and continuous improvement is what I do!
Opportunities aren’t lost; someone just wanted them more.
When I realized I was more than a tad bit hypocritical, I committed right then and there to change, and I put together a plan of action to do so.
- I identified my vision.
- I identified what I needed to do in order to realize my vision. Specifically, I identified the who, what, where and how statements that would “get me there.”
- I identified what values I would commit to or otherwise refuse to compromise along the way (and I added some that I refused to demonstrate…complacency being first and foremost).
- I gave myself some goals and contacted people in my network who I believed could help me reach those goals.
- From there, I created some action plans.
- From there, I got to work.