What do you do when an opportunity comes your way?

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"What do you do when an opportunity comes your way?"  

I would suggest something similar to what a friend of mine is currently doing: recognize the opportunity, GRAB THE OPPORTUNITY, figure out how to work it, and make the most out of it.  

A wonderful leadership opportunity has come his way and as I understand it, it is one of those opportunities that carries "lots of responsibility" and very little recognized authority or role definition - An opportunity for the ambitious, with the runway to "make of it what you will". As we discussed his opportunity I admit becoming a little green with envy, but then remembered I've had my share of opportunities and I was there to cheer him on - So let the cheering begin!

As much as we want to shout, "GRAB IT, GRAB IT", it is important to recognize that the opportunity is in fact "an opportunity". Opportunities need to be based on personal goals, objectives and what you want... one person's opportunity may not necessarily be another's. Along with recognizing what you want, it becomes important to understand what is needed to get there; this will force alignment of what you want with what you are really willing to do  - In doing this, you are defining what is truly an opportunity for you, and what is not.

Now go ahead and shout, "GRAB THE OPPORTUNITY!" If an opportunity comes your way, either offered or discovered, and it brings you closer to what you want... then make it yours. There is no reason not to. 

Richard Branson has been quoted as saying, "If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later." Here is where my friend finds himself, "Figuring out how to work it"... and I believe he is doing it in the right way.

  • Here knows he has the capability of being successful.
  • He is taking a champion position with the opportunity and owning it.
  • He is open to advice, guidance and constructive feedback, as well as incorporating feedback into his planning and execution.
  • He is setting performance targets, measures and putting operating mechanisms in place to ensure he is successful.
  • He is engaging his team and functional partners for support.

In the end, you will want to make the most out of your opportunity; not only with showing success, but learning as much as you can, mastering your abilities, moving yourself a little closer to your goals and most importantly keeping up the momentum.

After all, there is that simple truism - Opportunities beget opportunities.

A fairly good job of cheering him on, don't you think?