The very idea of taking or seizing opportunities is that you spot them in the first place. Those who see opportunities first are uniquely placed to take advantage of them. Thus, this Monday I want to dwell on this subject.
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Opportunities are the vehicles of our success in any field and in many cases they present themselves and in others, you make them for yourself. In either scenario, we must understand that to jump on opportunities, we must first see them. Ironically, they say the hardest times present the choicest opportunities and we must always make sure we can see them and have the ample capacity to take them. But to be successful at spotting opportunities, then you must know what you are looking for, to know it when you see it. The Enlightenment economist, Adam Smith, endorsed opportunism when he espoused that the opportunistic may better serve the interest of the society by in fact fulfilling his own aided by the “invisible hand”.
The great businessmen of the past century were, in fact, children of opportunity, all of them. They saw an opportunity in government policy, disaster, and even nothingness. Vespa, for instance, was a reaction to the difficulty in transportation and economic downturn following World War II in Italy. So was Ferrari and Lamborghini and BMW in Germany. Consider, in the case of Vespa, how it’s a genuine disdain for motorcycles led Corradino D’Ascanio to invent the Vespa (the motor scooter).
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BMW was another child of opportunity as the company originally made aircraft for the Third Reich but evolved into a car company afterwards because it was the practical thing to do in the light of the economic regeneration that followed WWII. Every crisis that swallows some behemoth throws up another. There is always opportunity in crisis. The ability to see it is a talent for some especially potential leaders and even a skill that can be learned.
Learn to see situations as they develop and predict them for what they are and would be. The truth is that for some this is an innate talent. For others, a hard-earned skill gained through experience and time given to a particular practice. Like I said before, spotting opportunity is a useful tool in a leader’s armoury but also useful for anyone who will make headway. Reflect on this and stay blessed.
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