Have You Missed Your Window?

By: Joe Jordan, Consultant, Executive Development Associates, Inc.

Life is full of misses. Missing the boat. Missing the mark. Missing a beat.

The world of missed opportunities, includes a well-traveled trail of what-ifs.

  • What if Ross Perot had bought those majority shares in fledgling Microsoft for $60 million?
  • What if Blockbuster president John Antioco had snapped up Netflix for the $50 million Reed Hastings asked for it?
  • What would the tech industry look like if John Young, then-CEO at HP had listened to an engineer named Steve Wozniak and considered his PC idea a viable product?

The list of VC firms and individuals who passed on a chance to invest in Google is both impressive-and unfortunate.

Business opportunities are often missed when an executive miscalculates the scope of the opportunity, ignores or discounts important data, or when a leader fails to see the viability of a concept beyond his or her current realm of influence. Missed opportunities to make a strategic career move often follow a similar course.

After interviews with 10,000 senior executives in Fortune 500 companies, The Profitable Ideas Exchange reports that most executives said they do not build time into their schedules for an essential protection from a near miss – making time to self-challenge. The unwillingness, inability, or failure to open one’s thinking (and conclusions) to new information, candid questions, and cold realities is a sure route to a missed opportunity-in a business or a career.

A wise executive that captures and leverages opportunities invests the time required to challenge today’s thinking, so he/she is ready for tomorrow’s opportunity.

Though dyslexic and holding a poor record of academic results, rather than waiting for opportunities Sir Richard Branson created them. From a mail-order business selling records, his Virgin Group has evolved to control more than 400 companies. While not a perfect model, Branson’s insights can open a leader’s mind to valuable perspectives:

  • The lesson that I have learned and follow all my life is that we should try and try and try again – but never give up.
  • You don’t learn to walk by following rules, you learn by doing and falling.
  • One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.
  • Don’t think what’s the cheapest way to do it or what’s the fastest way to do it, think what’s the most amazing way to do it.

What are you missing?

© 2018 Leapfrog Executive Services. Republished with permission.

About the Author:

Joe Jordan is a Consultant with Executive Development Associates. Throughout a career that has included a diverse group of companies and industries, Joe has integrated business development and sales roles with corporate training and operations positions, giving him a unique blend of strengths in designing and implementing initiatives that develop talent in leaders, grow revenue, enhance customer relationships and improve business processes.