I had a thought today, in the shower. I was pondering how to get the concepts behind Opportunity Management in general and Opportunity Matrix™ in particular more widely known, how to get my ideas out there. In short, as I have big plans beyond just opportunity management, how to become a leader.
Last week, I was at a networking event – John Williams’ excellent “Scanners Night”. Part of the evening was the opportunity to get up and ask the group for help with a challenge, which of course meant telling them about it. This morning, as I was thinking about getting my ideas more widely known, I realised that I’d missed a chance there – the audience were a perfect market for Opportunity Matrix, so I really should have got up in front of them and told them all about it.
And I realised something – a bit of a statement of the bleedin’ obvious, but valuable nonetheless:
If you want to be a leader, you’ve got to get in front of people!
That’s actually true in two ways:
Firstly, if you want people to follow you, you need to be ahead of them. That could be in your thinking, I guess what is called a “thought leader”, having ideas that they haven’t yet thought of. Or it could be in your actions, ie having already made progress down the path they want to take, so following you will get them there faster or easier. There’s a lot of talk about ‘servant leadership’ and ‘leading from behind’, but in my view true leaders are those out in front.
And the other way you need to be in front of people is physically, standing up in front of them, telling them what you believe and why they should follow you. Motivational trainer Clinton Swaine has a phrase for it: “Stage time is pay time”; in other words, every time you get up in front of a group – even as a demonstration subject at somebody else’s seminar – you have the chance to get known, and maybe even to promote your stuff.
Anybody need a good keynote speaker on the importance of focus and doing what you love …