Mark Cole: from Seeing to Seizing by Mark Cole | February 18, 2020


What are you doing with the opportunities in front of you?

This might be the most important question for you to ask as a leader. I know that’s a bold statement, but here’s why I believe it’s true: no one can guarantee tomorrow and yesterday is too late. You don’t know when you will run out of chances to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you.

John Maxwell says, “Opportunities do not multiply because they are seen. They multiply because they are seized.”

When it comes to opportunities, many leaders have the ability to see them, but only a few are bold enough to seize them.

Moving from seeing to seizing is not an overnight task, though—it takes time to train yourself to anticipate opportunities and live with an urgency for today. As I think back on my leadership journey, there are a few practical steps that really helped me learn to seize opportunities.

1. Be the first to help.

As John likes to say, “The people who most often make the biggest difference are the people who are first to step up and help at a time when it makes a difference.”

You must have a sense of urgency in order to be the first to step up when someone around you needs help. Look around! I guarantee there is a door you can open that another cannot, or an experience you’ve had that can benefit someone else. Being the first to help is a powerful thing.

2. Take a chance on significance.

Don’t miss an opportunity just because it has risks. Why? Because everything has risks. I love how John puts it: “People most often regret the chances they failed to take, not the chances they took that failed.”

Look for opportunities where the potential for significance is high. The truth is, when you begin to seek significance, you will find yourself outside of what you can control. That’s the nature of significance because it’s bigger than you. But I want to encourage you to take that step out of your comfort zone, because it’s worth it!

3. Choose what is right, even when a return is not guaranteed.

Without fail, the return on my giving is always higher than what I give. This is what drives me to do what’s right even when I am not promised anything in return. Just as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let us not allow ourselves to get fatigued in doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up.”

In leadership, you can trust this principle of sowing and reaping. Always pursue what is right, and opportunities will present themselves for the seizing.

I am struck by this reality—each of you has a family, a business, a neighborhood, a city, a country. And today you have the opportunity to be an agent of transformation inside of your sphere of influence.

But being able to see opportunities is not enough! That’s just the first step. If we are going to create positive change, we must be a people who seize opportunities of significance. We must act on the opportunities in front of us because that’s what allows us to make a difference.

Simply put, if we will see and seize the opportunities before us, we can transform the world!

Does that get you fired up? Are you as excited as I am about the opportunity to make a difference in a world that is longing for transformational leadership?

Ask yourself these three questions and let’s get started!

  1. What opportunities do I see that others don’t?
  2. What am I willing to say that others are afraid to say?
  3. What am I willing to do that others are afraid to do?

The opportunities are before us. The moment is right. It’s up to us whether or not we’ll take that necessary step—and the world is waiting.