Five More Opportunities


Ten years ago the challenges you face today would probably not have arisen for you. You were likely in a different role and didn’t have the skills or experience to be able do what you can do today. In the same way, the things you found challenging then are probably routine for you now.

Your abilities to lead yourself and others today have grown directly out of the challenges you faced in the past. This means the challenges you face today are opportunities for you to develop into the kind of person you want to become.

This brings five more options for moving forward. They are:

1. Apply your existing leadership skills
Apply the abilities you have already, to fix, improve, or transform the situation. Learn to apply them faster or more efficiently.

2. Improve your abilities
Use the situation as an opportunity to expand your skills, get bigger results, or perhaps apply them to a bigger or deeper problem than you have faced before.

3. Transform your leadership
Acquire the skills that would have enabled you to prevent the situation from arising in the first place. As Sun Tzu said, “The greatest general is the one who defeats the enemy without fighting.”

If none of these options seem appropriate there are two more:

4. Ignore: Don’t Apply the leadership skills you have
Even though you could address the situation, choose not to. Instead, learn to focus on what matters most, leave this issue to the person whose responsibility it is, or delegate the issue to someone you want to develop new skills.

5. Exit: Remove your leadership skills to somewhere else
This final option is to remove yourself and your skills from the situation you are in and move to a role that has more meaning for you, that better matches what you need, or that will develop or reward you better. Here you are learning to becom the most that you can be.

Together with the five types of outcome you might choose to create, this gives you a total of ten types of opportunity you might find in any situation.

Are you facing a challenge today? Is it an opportunity for you to develop or expand your skills? How many options can you think of under each of the five headings?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Andrew Blight via

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