Many times we have to wait to seize our best opportunities. We know that disruption is possible but the waiting is excruciating. Too often we grow impatient and act too soon, ruining the opportunity. Other times, we grow impatient and quit, claiming it isn’t worth it.
Maybe we are waiting wrong. Maybe there is a better way.
Recently I had the opportunity to meet Hall of Fame Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University. I have long respected his accomplishments and had purchased his book the day before at the national SHRM conference in Las Vegas. I knew he was there to give the opening keynote and would be available to autograph the book I had just purchased. But I knew getting the autograph would take some planning. The line started early and was limited. So I put decided I would get in line early and wait.
But what would I do when I waited?
I know many times I don’t like waiting. My rule of thumb is waiting no more than 30 minutes for a big event. I’m just too impatient and know there is a better use of my time. On that day, I knew I could have stayed at the hotel and lounged by the pool a little longer but knew that wouldn’t work for the fans of Coach K. Previous book signings at the conference indicated the line fills up quickly so I need to start real early. But how early?
I decided to get in line 2 hours early? Was I crazy?
Not at all. I really didn’t have anything better to do so why not? Besides, I always carry a book with me to wait and find interesting people.
When I arrived, I found one solitary person anxiously sitting in line. I soon learned her name was Katie. What a story she had. She is an avid Duke fan and saw this as an opportunity of a lifetime. So we sat together and I learned of how her passion for Duke began, even though she did not grow up near the school or attend there. I loved her enthusiasm, evidenced in the photos of her 3 kids all dressed in Duke attire (that she proudly showed Coach K.)
In the end, I did meet Coach K and had all of about 10 seconds with him while he signed my book. That was great but the best opportunity I had was to meet Katie and appreciate her enthusiasm. What a joy.
Had I taken my typical impatient approach to waiting, I probably would not have gotten to meet Coach K but definitely would never have met Katie. If I had been impatient and said it wasn’t worth it, I would have missed the opportunity. If I had buried my nose in a book and not engaged Katie, the opportunity would have been missed. In the end, I learned an important lesson about waiting that changed the way I think and
Lesson Learned: Sometimes there the bigger opportunity is in the journey, not the destination.
3D PWR Tip: Look for opportunities you can seize while you are waiting for big one you strategically planned to seize. Both are possible.
(c) 2015 Murfield International, Inc.
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Dr. Loren Murfield works with aspiring and emerging leaders so they can leverage their power to do what followers and critics think is impossible. This often involves working with them to develop their disruptive ideas and write their stories of rapid and radical change. How could you leverage your leadership power by sharing your story of disruption? Contact Dr. Murfield today.
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