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Leadership Thought #220 – Timing IS Everything

September 27, 2011

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Timing IS everything in life.  You can have the right idea at the wrong time, and it will fail.  The perfect promotion may fall in your lap just as you must deal with significant personal issues, and you may have to turn it down or not give it your all.  You can meet a great person at the wrong time, and it can be a lifelong missed opportunity.  Employees who have thrived in the past and will do so in the future may just hit a rough patch when working for you.   It’s hard to get the timing exactly right.  However, you need to pay attention and do your best anyway. You will win some and lose some, but it is important to win more than you lose.

I have always believed that life rewards those who are prepared when an opportunity presents itself.  To do this, you need to honestly know what a great opportunity would mean for you and why.  You need to have an underlying sense of your personal values and priorities.  You need to be actively searching for success and happiness and be on the lookout for positive signs. You need to know what you would be willing to give up or sacrifice to make something work.  You need to be flexible but not jump at every opportunity that presents itself.  You need to fully understand the context of the situation.  You need to learn from your mistakes.  You need to be brave enough to answer the door when opportunity knocks and be willing to risk short-term comfort for long-term gain.  You need to be prepared intellectually, physically, and mentally for the ensuing challenge.  You should also be wary of burdening yourself with a lifestyle that affords minimal flexibility and boxes you into a financial corner.

You can’t force success or happiness upon yourself or others.  Life just doesn’t work that way.  However, you must be able to act when the timing is right and be smart enough not to force the issue when it won’t work.  Sometimes you need to push forward but other times you need to pull back.  It is important to do your due diligence but don’t ever expect the stars to align perfectly in your favor.   Before you take any major leap, make sure there is alignment with your head, heart, and gut that this is the right thing to do.    Think through the consequences of moving forward versus the status quo and then make the best decision you can with the information you have.  Seize the moments that truly matter to you.