Missing the Window of Opportunity

Missing the Window of Opportunity

There are “windows of opportunity” occurring daily in everyone’s professional life but we are not looking for them or don’t recognize them and, therefore, aren’t prepared for them or don’t recognize them when they occur.

An example of this occurred when I recently attended a dinner for Autism Speaks. I was sitting at a table with a client and his management team. The speaker did a very good job explaining the value of the work Autism Speaks does. Then she showed a video of an autistic boy in high school who discovered he could kick a football through the goal posts. He practiced so diligently he became the field goal and point after touchdowns kicker for his high school’s football team.

The video (see below) showed him kicked the winning field goal in the championship game and his team celebrating his achievement. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/10/23/autistic-high-school-football-player-has-moment-for-the-ages-kicks-game-winning-field-goal/

It was an emotional moment and as I looked around the table and then around the room filled with “macho guys”, it was apparent this video had a real emotional impact on everyone in the room. At our table guys, including me, were surreptitiously using a napkin to dry our eyes because this emotional connection was so real with this young man.

As the video ended, the speaker thanked everyone for their support and donations and everyone applauded as she left the stage. It was then I realized she had missed a “window of opportunity.” If she had been watching for a “window of opportunity”, she would have seen the impact the video had on the audience and said something like “While we appreciate the support and donation you have made, we need you to give more. Because young men and young women like the young man in this video one need as much support as you can give them.” And the audience would have given even more money to support Autism Speaks.

But she was not looking for and, therefore, was not aware of the “window of opportunity.” The moment passed and it shut.

Unfortunately, the same thing happens to us throughout each day of our work week. There are always “windows of opportunity” as we interact with Team Leaders, Team Members, customers and vendors. However, we are too busy to see them. We are trained to be in performance mode – head down and grinding out the day’s tasks – and don’t see a “window of opportunity” when it appears.

Fortunately, this is a mindset issue. If you remind yourself to be aware of the possibility of “windows of opportunity” you will see them when they appear. Here are some “windows of opportunity” that occur every day that everyone should be looking for:

·       The opportunity to assist Team Members without being asked.

·       The opportunity to ask for assistance when it is needed.

·       The opportunity to say and do something that needs to be said or done.

The Coach’s Corner: Every interaction with people and processes provides a “window of opportunity.” But this opportunity only matters if we are looking for it. And the “window of opportunity” will remain open and benefit you and others if you only decide to expend the attention and effort necessary to keep it open. “What ‘window of opportunity’ did you keep open today?” should be a question you can answer at the end of every day.

I could be wrong…but I’m not.

Thanks for reading.

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