A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

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.

That’s deep!

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!

The irony!

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.

  1. I identified my vision.
  2. 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.”
  3. 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).
  4. I gave myself some goals and contacted people in my network who I believed could help me reach those goals.
  5. From there, I created some action plans.
  6. From there, I got to work.
What about you?
Are others taking your opportunities?
Tell them to back off, and then get to work!

Heather Kinzie • November 23, 2016

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