Whenever there’s some sort of lunar eclipse or meteor shower in our skies, it’s newsworthy and we are notified of the time of night to take a moment to look up, take in the beauty and marvel.
We don’t all take advantage of the opportunity to witness such glory, but we get a heads up that it’s out there!
And why do we need the heads up notice about these unique opportunities? I’d venture to say it’s because we are deep in our standard routines, trying to make it through another day, and that typically doesn’t involve looking up into the sky.
I see this analogous to what is happening in our daily lives.
There are multiple opportunities around us each day, but we don’t realize what is being revealed to us in some subtle or not-so-subtle ways.
For example, do you find you’re spending time “working around” a system that’s cumbersome? Consistently hearing people complain about a training program or recruiting process? See a clear customer need that’s not being met? Notice a colleague that is struggling to solve a business problem due to internal barriers?
These are all opportunities! Opportunities that YOU could get involved in to create a solution.
Here are some thoughts about how to begin looking up to notice opportunities right in front of you:
- Calendar your Think Time. We get so busy with our to-do list, we rarely make time to just sit and think, reflecting on what’s working well/not well and noodling on the root cause of those issues. Reflection is the process by which we can begin to apply what we have learned or observed. It’s a bit counter-culture for the non-stop, surrounded by external stimuli and noise world we live in so it’s not an easy habit.
- Remember your upside potential. This is related to the previous point, if you are willing to focus on learning and reading the daily signs that appear in the course of your personal and business day, it will lead to greater success.
- Ask questions to yourself and others. Why is this done this way? How can I make it better? What can I do or learn to become more valuable? In Patti Johnson’s new book, Make Waves – Be the one to start change at work and in life, she talks about how Wave Makers think and they often ask questions like: What can I do? How can I help? What if?
- Don’t be afraid to take the road less traveled and be willing to get a little uncomfortable. Proactively network with people you don’t normally work with in your current role or outside the company and see where those relationships lead. Seek out the new assignment, volunteer to join a task force on a high-stakes project or take that role your manager offers even if you think it’s beyond you.
Bottom line – Be noticed for taking notice of the opportunities at your feet and do something with them!
Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect with you via email at email@example.com.