When Opportunity Knocks


Leadership is the allocation of limited resources toward the critical growth path. In other words, the only opportunities you should be saying “yes” to are the ones that move your mission forward.

As a business leader, you are high-energy and believe that you can get anything accomplished you set your mind to. That may be true, but it might not be the best strategy. The most effective way to approach your long list of opportunities is to harness your energy around a well-developed path toward success.

Here are five steps you can take to make it happen. They come from my years of experience as a business leader and interviewing many other business leaders and just how often we have the tendency to say “yes” to everything.

Do your homework

Know your potential market and/or product. This can be as simple as talking to customers, attending an industry conference, or secret shopping.

Define the challenge

State the WIFFM (What’s In It For Me). What problem are you solving for the potential customer? The truth is that it’s not about what can be created. It is about what is needed or wanted by your target consumer.

Disrupt your thinking

Change is hard. Keep yourself from thinking “we tried that”, we can’t afford that”, or “we don’t have the time.” Allow for an open mind.

Engage your customer

Look out for Shiny Bauble Syndrome. When you’re running full speed toward a goal, you can be distracted from meaningful parts of the new opportunity. One of those meaningful aspects of change can come when you co-create with your customer. Bring them in on the process and you’ll find that it’s a win-win scenario.

Prioritize the possibilities

Just like the long list of opportunities, it is easy to come up with a laundry list of ideas for accomplishing the new goal. What you need is a short, strategic list that creates focus and hones your energy in the best direction.

Susan K Spaulding is an Author, Facilitator, Researcher, Strategist, Consultant, and Coach.

I work with businesses and leaders to take inventory, uncover the possibilities and navigate a path forward.