Opportunities are those moments when you are presented with a choice, subtle or not, and you can 1) choose to take the opportunity, 2) choose to not take the opportunity, or 3) not choose and lose the opportunity.
In Andrea Shapiro’s Tipping Point model, contact with advocates (e.g., the number and quality of times when someone who believes in the change interacts with someone who is neutral or doesn’t) influences successful organizational change. You measure contact with advocates as opportunities taken for contact compared to opportunities available. When organizations recognize (or create) opportunities to connect people with advocates the change happens faster and is more successful.
Since attending Ms. Shapiro’s course in 2005 I have actively looked for opportunities to create the changes I wanted in my professional and personal life. Seeing and taking those opportunities has made all the difference for me.
I’ve noticed three groups of opportunity takers: 1) those that naturally see and take opportunities, 2) those that have practiced at finding and taking opportunities and 3) those that don’t see opportunities for themselves.
I challenge you to take the opportunity to put yourself into one of the groups and consider taking the action I recommend for each group.
If you take the action and it doesn’t do anything for you, feel free to stop back and comment on the flaws in my advice. Or, you can stop back and tell me the story of how great it worked. Either way I love the discussion.
The challenge begins now. Will you choose to act?
1. If you naturally see opportunities all around you, consider creating opportunities for others around you. You’ve got a gift that the world can benefit from. Try finding one opportunity for someone by the end of next week. Offer them a chance to do something they may never have considered. What did they say when you offered them the opportunity? [Note: This is advice targeted at adults dealing with adults. Children require a different method of seeing, offering and accepting opportunities.]
2. If you have practiced both finding and taking opportunities, choose to tell your story of what creating and taking opportunities has done for you. Those who hear your story will benefit from your example. Try telling one person you story by the end of next week. What did they say once you told them?
3. If you struggle to see opportunities, find someone who can see them for you. Look for a person you find yourself saying “Why do they always get the breaks?” about. Chances are they don’t; they just take the opportunities when they see them. By the end of next week, ask that person if they’d be willing to share with you, when they find them, opportunities that you could take to get you closer to one or several of your goals. Were you surprised by the opportunities they found for you?
You can, if you choose, find and take opportunities and change the outcome of your life.