November 8

Anatomy of Opportunity

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"Eight percent of success is showing up." Woody Allen, 1987

He was talking about playwrights and how so many would-be superstars never actually finished writing the play. The world has just kicked this up to 100 percent. A presence is now everything for many people. An online digital presence. Zoom meetings, Teams meetings, everything is remote. If you don’t literally show up, it’s as if you don’t exist. No one is going to walk by your desk and think ‘Hey why don’t we get her to do that.’ You’ve got to make some digital noise in today’s world. Asking is not an easy thing for some but if you don’t ask then you won’t get. Never truer than today with so many of our leaders working remotely.

Everyone has value to add.

Showing up now includes training and career management as well. No one is going to take care of you and your dreams except yourself. Plenty of people may help you but the ball starts with the individual. Sounds a bit dire. It is not. The options for taking care of things individually have never been greater. And the costs never lower. Anyone can pretty much get up to speed on any topic from their own home within days if not hours. All part of showing up. We can’t know everything about everything but taking the steps towards your goals will show what you need to learn.  The thing about asking that some people may not realize is that it’s not about people giving you stuff. It’s about the trade. Everyone has value to add. The ask is only the preliminary to the deal. The ask is for help to identify who needs the value that you can give. Some one out there needs what you have to offer. Always. The trick is to find a way to connect the dots.

Show up and amazing things will happen.

Never discount any possible opportunity. My default answer is ‘yes’ and it should be yours as well. Work out the details later. (I should say here that this did present a certain number of problems when I was 17 but we won’t go into that.) When some one says, ‘What about this?’ the answer should be ‘That sounds great. How do I find out more about it?’. Engagement and interest is part of showing up. It may well work out that nothing happens in the end or, more likely, it will lead to something else. Showing up means that you are in the game. Doesn’t always mean you will win but you will always have the chance. Case in point. An opportunity has presented itself last week. Very early days so it may not develop. Tracing back the roots of this opportunity, I find that it is directly related to four instances where my answer was ‘Yes, let’s take a look at that’. Each of these previous endeavours have not amounted to very much except for the fact that the current opportunity would not be on the table at the moment had I not expressed interest in them at the time. Show up and amazing things will happen. Always.


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