Get Joey's free weekly beBetter Leadership blog:

beBetter Blog

Are You Swimming in the Wrong Opportunity?

By Joey Havens

Share this post:

On a recent early morning trip to the gym, you can imagine my surprise when I came across these two ducks in the parking lot!  

I have to admit, at first, I thought someone had set decoys out to see if people would stop and look.  As I started walking towards the gym, I would just glance over, trying not to look right at them in case it was a joke.  I’m vain like that, I can’t stand for someone to trick me.  Then, the ducks started moving around so I knew this was the real deal.  (On a side note – what does this pool of water say about the parking lot?). This was so incredible, the ducks acted like this was their new home.  In places, the water was deep enough for them to swim around.  As I reflected on the ducks in their new pool of water, it occurred to me that these ducks are behaving like many organizations and individuals do today. What do I mean by that?  Let’s think about their situation. First, they found this new water and made it a home without really thinking it through. There are a lot of cars and people riding and walking in and around this pool of water. That presents a lot of risk.  While it’s certainly only a temporary pool, with this parking lot, it may last a little longer than you would think. It is so shallow they can’t dive and it provides no nourishment, so there is no way to grow. Overall, it’s really just a short-term opportunity and simply a poor choice for a new home. 

Today, many organizations and individuals seize the first (or any) opportunity they come across without pausing and thinking, “Is this the right opportunity?  What risks do we have?  Can we grow it?  What is our potential?  Does it have long-term strategic value?” 

I feel like these ducks quickly realized this was not a good situation for them and probably wished they had said no and kept flying.  I noticed they were not hanging out there the next morning.  How often do we waste precious time and resources swimming in the wrong opportunity?  That’s my ducky outlook for today.

Serve Then Lead