We have all been there. It might have been a favorite stock or piece of property. It might have been a job offer or chance to start a business. For one reason or another, we passed on the opportunity or didn’t see it until it was too late. Now we wished we could turn the clock back. We missed a great opportunity. If only we had . . .
Most people don’t see opportunities until they see them in the rearview mirror. It is only then, looking back, do they realize what they missed. Many times we stop, go back and stare at it, frustrated that we missed such a great opportunity. We pause and wonder, “Why didn’t I see it before?”
How can we see those great opportunities before they happen?
Here are 3 simple actions we can take to see the opportunities before we run them over, destroying any possibility of seizing them and unleashing our ultimate performance, production, and profits.
1. Quit Looking Back
There is a powerful temptation to look back and regret what we missed. Too often we stop, turn around and gawk. What a waste of time. Let me state it bluntly – We will see far more opportunities looking out the windshield than we will through the rearview mirror. Unless we just invented a time machine, we can’t go back. (and if you did invent one, you might have just found that great opportunity you are looking for.) Here is the key: To drive your business to the ultimate success: look ahead, not behind. There is no time for regret, complaining, blaming or wishing it would have been different. You can’t make very good progress if you keep stopping, going back and looking at missed opportunities. Look ahead – that is where we will find our ultimate opportunities – unless we are just joy riding. That means, don’t spend any energy looking at what you just passed. Unless you can go back, keep looking forward.
- How much time do you spend looking back?
- What opportunities have you missed because you were looking back instead of ahead?
2. Identify Your Best Opportunity
To seize our best opportunity, we need to know what that looks like. That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? It is. Unfortunately, many times we don’t recognize the opportunity because we haven’t thought about it ahead of time. We miss the great opportunities because we were thinking they looked like something we passed miles back. Other times we miss an opportunity because we thought it should look like someone else described. Still others, never having seen an ultimate opportunity, expected it would be lit up with spot lights, neon displays and large signs. And if that isn’t enough, some claim, “I’ll know it when I see it.”
To put it mildly, those methods are not very effective. Instead, to identify your best disruptive opportunity, answer these simple questions:
- What do you ultimately want?
- What irritating problem would you or others like to see solved?
3. Look Ahead with a Desire to Disrupt
When we look out the windshield, there is a lot to see. What are you focusing on when you lead your organization? Are you focusing on what is immediately ahead of you? Or are you looking further out? How often do you look to the horizon?
Obviously, we have to look at the immediate situation. But to disrupt, we need to focus further out. Since the world is changing rapidly, we need to give ourselves time to react to the great opportunities. That means we a) have to look farther our than we have and, b) learn to react quicker. For now, we focus on the first part, focusing farther out.
- How far can you see into the future?
- What changes do you see coming?
- What great opportunities do you see?
- What do you have to begin doing to be ready for those opportunities?
THINK BIGGER. REACH HIGHER!
Loren Murfield, Ph.D. I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to disrupt their team, their leadership, and their marketplace. Contact me to begin making your breakthrough.
(c) Murfield International, Inc.