What opportunity are you focused on right now?
Opportunities come through windows. Your window of opportunity, and how you respond to it, define your results and where you get to play.
This Key will help you unlock your Window of Opportunity (WOO). We explore what a WOO (window of opportunity) is and how it defines your potential to succeed, lead and shape outcomes. I will share with you how I developed the opportunity window insight and how this awareness can be a game-changer for you.
We all experience certain WOOs along our journeys. Some opportunity windows come early in life; others come later. You may get a series of WOOs, while others have one big WOO. What is not obvious is the part you play in shaping your window of opportunity. In many situations you cannot predict your WOO because there are too many unknown elements. But people who excel in business, the arts, or other pursuits, live as though they are ready to discover a big opportunity window every day.
How do you build such readiness? What capabilities must you build to respond in full when a window of opportunity opens up? Read on to learn more about the opportunity window phenomenon. Give me a call to discuss the opportunity window you have with your team and in your business.
Listen to our Podcast here. Please forward this KEY to friends, family and associates.
Your WOO (Window of Opportunity)
Right now you are facing a window of opportunity. The question is, Can you identify it? Do you see the window? Are you able to respond?
My awareness of the acute significance of "WOO" (window of opportunity) was first triggered at age 12. Based on my cross country, long-distance running accomplishments that year, I recognized there was an opportunity window available for me the following year. Since I knew all the best runners in my age group, it became clear that if I focused and worked hard, I could realize the opportunity window to become the Israeli Champion for the 'age 14' group. I reasoned that if I missed this window, it was not likely to reappear for me later. My interest in pursuing other fields made this one season my opportunity window. I decided to respond. I took the opportunity and won.
Winning a series of championships that year became a seminal experience. I realized that opportunity windows compel you to a fulfilling action. For example, learning certain skills, meeting influential teachers, building relationships, and simply discovering new understandings about how things work, were all revealed inside a situational window. Often I was not aware of the window but recognized it in retrospect. At times, a window was clearly defined and known. In other situations I realized I could influence and extend the window.
Being born and raised in a kibbutz delayed my exposure to the economic context of opportunity windows. But the economic significance was revealed in my Air Force Big Bang moment. To make the cut to the next phase of the fighter pilot course, I had to demonstrate a safe takeoff and landing within a short few weeks and limited number of flights. Bang! Performance was not evaluated in a vacuum. Performance was measured inside a defined and limited situational window.
Flying evolved my insight; I was beginning to learn about the 'interception window'. To get into a shooting position required entering a maneuver envelope. The interception window was a moving diagram continually changed by your opponent's movements and your own. In the case of a dogfight, the comparative position, velocity, and maneuvering of two very fast flying machines determined a critically precise window of opportunity.
Windows of opportunity became a central preoccupation for me, almost an obsession. As I developed a deep spiritual quest, immersed myself in the study of metaphysics, development and leadership, and saw the changes occurring in the business ecology, it became obvious that the windows-of-opportunity phenomenon was everywhere.
In my work with leaders today, we begin by looking to understand and optimize their opportunity windows. We help executives build innovation strategies and create new futures for their business and organization by considering their opportunity windows here and now. We then create and exploit new opportunity windows in the future.
Your Opportunity Windows
Take a minute to think about your pivotal opportunities. Reflect on important crossroads you have faced. What directional decisions did you make that shaped your journey? Who influenced you at a critical window? Direction-setting experiences and decisions have always appeared inside specific situational windows. They were never in a void. You were always moving from point A to point B.
What's the invisible, mystical side of the story?
As you hope to intercept opportunities, opportunities look to intercept you. It's a two-way, hide-and-seek attraction game. If you were ready to rise to the occasion and meet the opportunity inside the window, then its potential was revealed and expressed.
Your Opportunity Window ARC
How can you become a WOO master? How do you master your opportunity windows today? And what differentiates WOO masters--people who make the most of their opportunities?
The three characteristics I observed are: Awareness, Readiness, and Capability, hence the opportunity window ARC:
- Awareness. You build a high degree of awareness of yourself and your environment. Understand your personal cadence, learning style and strengths; become aware of what helps you operate in your peak performance zone. Be curious and practice noticing change and movements around you. Be highly cognizant of the environment to pick up on shifts, trends and new opportunities. Awareness is essential. No awareness, no opportunity window.
- Readiness. You build readiness, agility and resourcefulness at all levels: physical fitness, mental sharpness, and psychological and emotional resilience. You cultivate the resources that allow you to respond quickly when opportunity shows up. Being ready to turn on a dime, move fast, and bring what a situation needs are the golden keys to making the most of your opportunity window.
- Capability. You build your capacity to connect the dots and provide value in every situation. You focus on strengths and develop a vast frame of reference. You build framing skills to create relevancy and meaning, and to influence and help people see the world differently. You are increasingly at ease with ambiguous and rapidly-evolving situations. And you foster inner structure and discipline that enable you to parachute into new situations, find your way and leap forward. You turn setbacks into learning, and find joy in growing in new domains of knowledge and capability. You bring forward confidence, center on future possibilities, and create movement that delivers results.
Now it's your turn. Turn the key. Develop your awareness and readiness. Be ready to respond. Bring forward your capabilities and resourcefulness. Help your people discover their windows of opportunity grow and build new futures.
Aligning Personal and Organization Purpose
© Aviv Shahar