Catching Up With Missed Opportunities
“I put myself in the way of things happening and they happened” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
As you are sitting at your desk, or riding in a train or hired car, reading this, have you ever thought of missed opportunities and what could have been, if only…? There are times when for whatever reason we weren’t able or ready to take the next step. We were too busy, focused on a different priority, or not feeling like the timing was right, and so we let the possibility pass us by. If we don’t take that step when it’s offered, is it over for us? Sometimes the window for action closes because there is a deadline, however, situations which are not dependent on one choice moment can be revisited and pursued. Are you ready to go get them?
I recently gave a workshop for the young leaders of the French American Chamber of Commerce. The subject was “what is leadership”? and “what is leadership for today’s needs”? The starting point was that all the attendees had the intention and skills to be leaders by actively registering and being at the event. The underlying question, which was never specifically communicated, which of them would take further action and truly step into the role as leader. Who was ready?
Let me briefly set the stage. That evening after my presentation portion, attendees broke into small groups for the purpose of problem solving. The exercise called for a volunteer (or representative), who would present the group’s findings when everyone gathered together afterwards. Every person was invested because the exercise involved real world examples from the group members themselves. Energy in the room was electric. Conversation was flowing.
I spent time speaking with every group, although each one had a moderator to help them. I answered questions, engaged all the participants. I made it my purpose to have all attendees be seen and acknowledged.
The fascinating discovery came a few days after the event. I had given my contact information to the entire room at the end of the evening’s event encouraging attendees to join LinkedIn with me and/or email any questions. I also sent a summary of the evening’s lessons to all attendees with the assistance of the FACC, again encouraging everyone to connect with me. Who took me up on my offer? It was only the special few attendees, those who had volunteered to be their group’s representative, who were ready to follow through. Only they connected with me via LinkedIn, with many wanting to continue the conversation of “stepping into their potential”. The ones that were ready to be seen as potential leaders, had self-selected themselves; their behavior during and after the event were consistent. What had happened to everybody else who was there that evening?
A question posed repeatedly at panels I attended during last week’s International Women’s Day celebrations was: “what is the one lesson you have learned that you wish you knew at age 22?” My response: “When an opportunity is there to grab, take it. What is the worst that could happen? And, what is the best that could happen?”
My door is always open for the FACC emerging leaders to connect with me, when they are ready. There is no expiration date on the offer. This is not one of those momentary situations, I had mentioned.
However, getting back to you, if you find yourself in similar circumstances, where the offer is still open and not a momentary gift, circle back around and go get it. Why not be ready? Be that “volunteer”. Who knows what’s to become of pursuing it, unless you try?
I’d love to get your comments either directly or through www.SusanGoldbergLeadership.com I work with clients everyday who are creating and pursuing opportunities. Let’s talk about creating opportunities where you are. You can reach me at Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com