April 4, 2011

Leadership Limerick: Don't Wait for Opportunity to Knock

Every Monday, I offer a leadership limerick, highlighting an idea or strategy about effective leadership in limerick form.

Opportunity does indeed knock
But its arrival is never a lock

So create chances on your own
Blazing through the unknown

Experimenting around the clock

By the time opportunity knocks, your members or customers may be tired from waiting for you to provide new value in your programs and services.  And honestly?  When the opportunity is incredibly evident, it's usually either low hanging fruit you should probably have picked sometime ago or such an obvious need waiting to be fulfilled that doing so just keeps you in the game.  The time to pursue opportunity is before others demand that you deliver.

In their book, The Leadership Challenge, authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner remind us that extraordinary leaders search for opportunities, scanning the environment constantly and considering the possible unarticulated needs of their stakeholders.  Instead of waiting for opportunity to come knocking at our door, better to open your door to the opportunity to try some stuff and see what works, leveraging the power of small wins along the way.

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