Are you an Opportunity Optimizer?
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending a few days with some of my mentors in a virtual training conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they far exceeded my expectations by connecting with us even before the event by mailing us a package with some of the items we would have received had we met in person. Another benefit of the virtual format is that they recorded the sessions and gave us access for a few extra days. A few days ago, with notes in hand, I went back through one of the teachings on being an Opportunity Optimizer. In a time of great uncertainty, this is a skill, yes, I said skill, that can pay huge dividends if we develop it.

The teaching included a 10-question assessment that each of us was asked to complete. We needed to rate ourselves on a scale of 1 – 5, with five being “absolutely.” Here are a few of the questions:

  • Do you see opportunities in obstacles?
  • Do you see opportunities in failures?
  • Do you see opportunities in problems?

We were asked to post our scores in the online chat for all to see. Now that’s transparency. Mark Cole, CEO of the John Maxwell Enterprises, was teaching the class and filled in so many amazing anecdotes to make the class so meaningful. The power in the assessment was that it showed me where I had strengths that I could leverage and where I had the wrong thinking that needed to change. I know what you are thinking; I said it was a skill, and now I am saying that my thinking needs to change. You are correct in both cases. Changing our thinking is a skill that can be learned, and what Mark was doing was mentoring us in how we assess our thinking so we can become Opportunity Optimizers. To borrow a phrase from our friend Billy, this is HUGE! Seriously, folks, it’s extremely powerful.

Leaders see before others see, and they see more than others see. Unless we learn the skill to see and then optimize all of the opportunities around us, we are only pretending to be leaders. The only thing worse than someone who doesn’t want to lead when needed is someone who pretends to lead but isn’t a leader at all. They just create chaos and leave their teams disheartened and afraid. This teaching allowed me to take an honest look at who I am, and perhaps more importantly, who I am not. Once I got there, I realized the skills I still need to learn, and that’s powerful because I want to be an Opportunity Optimizer.

If you would like to hear more about this topic and the other questions on the assessment, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 170 of The Next Page podcast. We will also discuss the mindset of an Opportunity Optimizer.

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