Back Off – It’s Mine!

“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 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!

  • About the Author

    Heather Kinzie, SHRM-SCP, serves as the Chief Operating Officer for The Strive Group. With more than 20 years of organizational and workforce performance experience, Kinzie offers consulting, coaching, content development and training to clients. She oversees a team of experts who utilize a broad, systematic approach to problem solving and consultation.

    Recognizing the critical importance of leadership, communication and effective collaboration among teams, Kinzie is committed to helping clients improve communication, engagement and organizational performance.

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