What Happens When You’re Given an Opportunity Before You Are Ready?

“Everyone has the capabilities to excel. But the challenge is, do they have the awareness and willingness to do the work required?” Jeannette Seibly

You’re offered a new opportunity. After talking with your trusted coach and mentor, you know you’re not ready. But what do you do? Here’s the dilemma. Taking it can cause potential failure. And, not taking it could limit future opportunities.

Sam accepted a leadership position with the promise of even more significant opportunities in the future. He had the administrative skills required. But Sam lacked the experience of leading a team, having always been a team member. Instead of asking for help and guidance, Sam faced potential failure when he complained about the same things as when he was a team member! He failed to realize he was now responsible for providing those resources he previously complained about!  

Accepting new opportunities before you’re ready can derail your future. Don’t be in too big of a hurry to get the new job title, make more money, or enjoy the prestige of moving up in the company. Or, you may struggle and eventually derail future career opportunities.

What is Required to Get Ready Now?

Job Fit. Today, many people don’t like their jobs because they don’t fit their job responsibilities! To avoid this, use a valid job-fit assessment. The reports provide objective awareness of the strengths required for your new position and your challenge areas. Remember, you cannot change who you are. For example, as a team member, you may be fearless in talking with others (strength). But as a team leader, this same strength can get in your way of listening to the team (weakness).

Get Real. New opportunities require moving forward outside your comfort zone. They also will require new levels of communication, project management, and emotional intelligence, which are hindered by leadership blind spots. Because many of these job requirements are unwritten, shadow the current incumbent in the job. Ask questions. Don’t assume you won’t have similar challenges. (You will.) Ask them what they’ve done to overcome these issues.

Hire an External Coach and Seek Out an Internal Mentor. Be coachable! Ask for help and seek guidance immediately before you get mired in sticky situations or political relationships that sabotage your future opportunities.

Do the Real Work. While mantras can keep you focused, they don’t replace doing the real work. For example, you’ll fail if you ignore team conflict complaints and respond with mantras (e.g., “Every team has their challenges, it’ll get better.”). Resolution often needs difficult decisions (unpopular) and challenging conversations. Work with your executive coach now.

Emotional Intelligence. Mindful awareness and resilience are required in many positions today, especially leadership. There will be mistakes made and failures too. Your ability to handle these can make a big difference in being open to learning from them.

Leadership Savvy. Microaggressions, playing favorites, and not listening to others are the downfall of many in new positions. Instead, set a positive example. It starts with you and the team being trained. These workshops should include conflict resolution, brainstorming, diversity, project management, critical thinking, and execution of projects. Now, develop the habit of using these skills, and your team will follow your lead.

Project Management. Many overlook the people side and the logistical side of conducting effective meetings. Both are critical to any project or program’s design, process, and execution.

  • People side: Develop your team members, focus on their strengths and include everyone when brainstorming.
  • Logistical side: Develop and incorporate budget, technology, operations, sales, and marketing into every project or program.

There is a cross-over in these areas as well. For example, marketing is a budget item, and who is the person to best create and implement the plan? While you don’t need to be an expert, you need a good basic working knowledge of all these areas. Asking questions will be one of the most productive skills you can develop.

©Jeannette Seibly 2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She is an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note from Jeannette about being ready for new opportunities: accepting new opportunities before being ready has derailed many people’s careers. The key is to develop the leadership, communication, and other required skills before accepting your new opportunity! Are you struggling to be ready, but your boss is in the way? Let’s Chat!

Are you putting the right team members on the wrong team? Giving people opportunities before they are ready will diminish the intended results. It will also hurt their future career options. Improve your interviewing skills by grabbing your FREE copy of the best 16 Must-Read Tips for Productive Hiring Interviews

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