Author: Denise Marks

The American writer Mark Twain was once quoted as saying “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it ceased to be one”. 

While it is a humorous overstatement, it carries an unmistakable message for a leader…it really matters that you recognize and respond to opportunities.

As leaders, the opportunities that come our way often fall into two categories. There are those opportunities that are intentional:

We seek them out

We plan for them, 

We strive to make them happen. 

Because we are intentional, we are ready to seize the opportunity as it comes and consequently make the most of it.

Then there are the unexpected opportunities. These catch us by surprise and, depending on our personality, may make us uncomfortable simply because they were…unexpected. 

You have likely experienced and benefitted from both kinds of opportunities. It might have been a promotion or new position. Perhaps it involved moving into a new market or expanding your current scope. It may have been as simple as meeting someone who opened up completely new possibilities. 

Most leaders want to grow in their ability to capitalize on both kinds of opportunities. Many of the most successful would admit to finding new opportunities quite exhilarating.

In LeaderImpact we encourage and provide what we call “uncommon opportunities”. 

These are opportunities that might fall outside the norm of what you encounter in the day to day of life. 

Uncommon Opportunities allow you to:

  • Meet other leaders you might not otherwise get to know. 
  • Step into and interact with other cultures. 
  • Serve your community that might not have been on your radar. 
  • Are intentionally unexpected. 

If you decide to join a LeaderImpact group, attend a LeaderImpact event or even participate in an international trip, you are intentionally pursuing opportunities that many other leaders have found extremely helpful and rewarding. But you are also allowing for those unexpected opportunities to try something new, step out of your comfort zone or develop a relationship that could profoundly influence your life.

Most leaders work hard to develop opportunities in their professional capacities but many aren’t intentional about searching out opportunities to grow in their personal relationships with family or friends. Even fewer leaders seek out opportunities to enhance the spiritual part of their lives. And while most leaders thrive on the excitement of unexpected business opportunities, far fewer are open to embrace those unexpected opportunities to improve their personal or spiritual selves.

Are you, as a leader, making room for uncommon opportunities? You may find that these opportunities are the key to becoming an uncommon leader.

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