Fear and Opportunity

My local football team, the Houston Texans, lost two key players for the season within just a few plays of each other in a game earlier this season.  And then they lost a few more…and a few more….and it quickly became one of THOSE seasons.  It got me thinking about how opportunity can knock….

…but it can take courage to open the door.

How many times have you seen it happen?  A vacancy at work is filled by someone you are used to seeing in a different role.  There is a sense of unease and trepidation. And then, often times, you are pleasantly surprised by the outcome and thinking….”oh my gosh, I had no idea what that person was capable of!”  I love it when this happens.

It takes courage on both sides of the equation for the magic to happen.

The Conversation

The person taking advantage of the opportunity has to have the courage to take on a new challenge which often means discomfort, at least some degree of failure almost guaranteed, and moving from the routine and predictable to the less routine and less predictable.

It can be humbling.

The person providing the opportunity has to have the courage of their conviction that their candidate is the right choice.  They have to dedicate time to supporting their team member in the new role.  Also, they have to have the courage to trust…but verify.  They take on risk of failure as their charge learns a new role through the process of trial and error associated with any new endeavor.  And they must have the courage and discipline to allow that to happen with some degree of distance.  In the worst case scenario, they risk being completely wrong….left with a worse situation than when they started.

So when YOUR team is losing…and positions start to open up….what is your instinct as a leader?

Fear and opportunity….manage them, leverage them, use them…and they will serve you well.

Ignore them, avoid them, maintain a safe distance from them….

…and you will miss out on the magic.

 

KenCatmull.com

2 Replies to “Fear and Opportunity”

  1. I remember about 2 dozen hourly employees being promoted to manager back in the fast food era. You hate to lose a valued member of your team, but it was also gratifying to see them advance.

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