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What do you see when you look at the title of this article? When you first looked at it, how did you see the message? Was it “leadership is nowhere” or “leadership is now here?” The opportunities to lead in your personal and professional life are here now, but it is up to you to SEE them and take hold of them. Look for the leadership opportunities that exist all around you and seize them without hesitation.

So what exactly is an opportunity? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done.” Benjamin Disraeli once said that “one secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” Often, people make the unfortunate mistake of waiting for opportunity to present itself. This is a fallacy. The truth is that opportunity is everywhere just waiting for you to discover it. Instead of waiting for opportunity to knock, open the door and find it. Here are some steps to help you seize your opportunities:

Step 1: Look for opportunity instead of allowing it to seek you out.

We live in a unique and interesting period of time because our rapidly changing world presents new opportunities at every turn. Sadly, many people don’t interpret events as real opportunities or aren’t willing to step out, take risks, and lead! Think about your own community. You could probably crank out a long list of problems or issues plaguing your area within a matter of minutes. These problems require solutions from dedicated leaders, but most go ignored because most people have dismissed them as unfixable or permissible. A majority or community members don’t see the opportunities to make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of those around them. How good are you at sniffing out these opportunities?

Step 2: Volunteer to take action.

Commit yourself to taking the action needed to solve problems. Enlist the help of others  and pool resources such as ideas, money, and time.

Step 3: Maintain a “can-do” spirit.

A positive attitude and energy inspire others to be supportive and passionate towards the problem you are working to solve, even in the bad times!

Step 4: Demonstrate personal commitment.

Effective leadership includes having a deep commitment towards your cause or goal. For example, during World War II, the Nazis planned to take Britain out in just two short months. Many observers felt that Britain was doomed to be overtaken. But through the fortitude and tenacity of Winston Churchill and his commitment to his people, Britain and its allies were able to defeat the Nazis. During this bleak period, Churchill had a mission statement intended for himself and the house of Parliament engraved on a brass plaque, which he kept on his desk. It read, “Please understand there is no depression in this house and we are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.” How committed are you to the things you believe in? Do you have an expectation of success?

Step 5: Remove the word “try” from your vocabulary.

In the words of Yoda, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” When we intend to “try,” we leave the door open for bailing out or failing to commit. Instead of “trying,” determine that you will either do something or not do it. Eliminate the “squishy middle.”

Step 6: Practice doesn’t always make perfect.

It is common myth to say that “practice makes perfect” in our culture. This is not necessarily the case. Perfect practice makes perfect. For example, if your goal is to be a major league hitter but you swing a bat like a five year old swings at a piñata, all the swinging in the world won’t help you. However, if you develop the skills needed to perfect your swing, you have a much better shot at the pros. In your leadership role, don’t practice doing the wrong things over and over again. Aim to perfect your leadership skills and professionalism so that you can be a more effective leader.

Don’t wait for opportunity to knock. Open the door and grab it! Use the six steps above to help you grow in your role as an effective leader and use those skills to make a positive difference in the lives of those around you. LEADERSHIP-IS-NOW-HERE.

Leadership Excellence is dedicated to providing on-site organizational leadership training in Cleveland and Leadership coaching services remotely throughout the country. Are you interested in taking the steps toward better personal and professional leadership? Contact us to find out more information about our professional training services for leadership development, team development, sales development, management training, keynote speakers, and more.

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