There are many interesting opportunities floating around out there and all kinds of people who would love to spend time talking about them. Opportunities can be exciting, sound great, and very attractive to pursue. Interesting opportunities can be tough to turn down when they are presented to you all packaged up and shiny.
It is clear you cannot pursue every opportunity someone has decided should have your name attached to it. But when does the next interesting opportunity with lots of potential become a strategic distraction?
How about when . . .
- Pursuing it is more about feeling good than feeling rewarded for your efforts.
- The same opportunity has not worked in the past, and there is NOTHING to suggest something has changed this time.
- It causes you to do a whole series of things whose benefits are not clear.
- The results would not really matter for your organization.
- There will not be an opportunity to expand your network.
- Whatever is next after this opportunity is a dead end.
Okay, here is an admission.
This is my running checklist of things to watch for when there is a new opportunity because I can get too fascinated by all those interesting opportunities floating around.
I wrote out this list earlier in the week when an opportunity that looked initially problematic, then looked like it was going to work, all of a sudden didn’t . . . just as we thought when it was initially presented to us. In retrospect, it was a strategic distraction.
That’s why this is a running list.
What things do you look for when sorting through opportunities to pursue and those to avoid? - Mike Brown
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