Embracing innovation has been and is the hallmark of successful people and that innovation begins with recognising and taking advantage of opportunities.

Instead of closing their eyes to change or simply trying to endure and survive it, leaders respond to shifts in the market with foresight and a mandate to make the most out of the new opportunities that crisis creates. You can accomplish what you may have, up until this point, believe was impossible.

The big idea of transmuting challenges or difficulty into opportunity is not new. History’s successful innovators have always employed aspects of this approach. Gutenberg’s ushering in of the renaissance and the eventual democratisation of knowledge was not born from the invention of a movable type, but rather from the way he deconstructed the value chain of surplus German wine presses, enabling him to invent the printing press.

Oxford defines an opportunist as a person who takes advantage of opportunities as an when they arise, regardless of planning or principle. What Oxford does not state clearly in its definition is that opportunist understand are aware that they can create, discover and play a leading role in the process. There are ways to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities in your life and this article will discuss two of the most important ways you can begin converting the challenges you face into opportunities today:

Manage expectations

First, you have to develop awareness. Chances are you have accidentally passed up an opportunity in the last week because you weren’t expecting it.

All leaders should:

  • Take a preliminary look at future possible opportunities and see them clearly and completely.
  • Know where you or your organisation stands in the light of strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understand what problems you or the organisation has to/wants to solve and why.
  • Identify what the anticipated gains are.

Most of us often feel dejected because we do not get opportunities. Rarely do we realise that opportunities are plentiful, but we are simply not aware of them.

Add value when you engage with others

According to a recent article by the Harvard Business Review, 13% of employees are disengaged in the workplace. In the United States this disengagement represents a $450 Billion annual loss. Imagine what the loss could be in your country if you aren’t based in the United States.

When we add value to people, we can increase engagement, improve our brand and culture, and grow. In the retail world, adding value to people turns customers into brand advocates. You can begin adding value to people and create opportunities today. Here’s how:

  1. Listen to people

Do you let others give their ideas before you do? Are you listening to them? This is one of the most powerful ways to discover opportunities. Listen.

  • Develop others through mentorship

The best legacy a leader can leave is by developing those around them. Leaders create leaders.

  • Show it by practicing what you preach

Actions speak louder than words. Be intentional in finding ways you can positively impact your environment.

  • See things for what they can be

Refuse to see people, places and things for what they are now. See things through the lens of potential.

  • Be positive

Positivity encourages those around you. As a result of maintaining a positive mental attitude, you will set yourself apart as a leader and attract the people, places and things that are aligned with your energy.

“If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” 

– Zig Ziglar

Adding value is the greatest thing a leader can do. What are some ways you can add value to some person, place or thing? How can you help someone else meet a need or achieve one of their goals?

You are responsible for the quantity and quality of opportunities in your life. By listening and becoming aware of the opportunities around you, you can begin to add value to others and ensure future success.

If opportunities just fell out of the sky, we would all be a lot closer to achieving our dreams. Success comes at the intersection of preparation and opportunity. Opportunity is what you bring to reality, not what reality brings you.

Eliot Kelly is recognised as a serial Entrepreneur, and has been featured on CNN, BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss and an extensive list of magazines and articles. His four books have been translated in over 7 languages and are sold in 29 countries, recently being shortlisted for Best Self-Help and Best Advice Books 2019 by The Author Academy. He is regarded as a top Sales, Business and Leadership Management Coach who creates opportunities for his success partner’s through financial literacy and life skills training. He is also a Professional Speaker and continues to inspire present and future entrepreneurs around the world. You Know More Than You Think You Do releases this Spring! Pre-Order Today.

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