Being at the right place at the right time isn’t enough! Opportunities are not missed because you weren’t there to take advantage of them. They are missed because when opportunity was knocking at your door, you were still in your pyjamas.  Notice that I don’t use the phrase “lost opportunities,” because as someone said “opportunities are never lost, they are just taken by someone else.”

Leadership is the nexus of opportunity and preparation. Pat Mesiti asserts that you cannot control the moment of opportunity, but you can control the moment of preparation. Although that is true, there are ways to increase the frequency of opportunities that come across your desk and your life. I’m going to show you how you can be prepared when opportunity decides to show up and I’m going to teach you how to accelerate the rate of opportunities that come to you, so that before opportunity knocks on your door, you are at the front porch welcoming it with open arms.

Firstly, let’s start with preparation. There is a secret ingredient to preparation which is largely ignored by most business coaches: discernment. The fact is that you shouldn’t be ready for every opportunity. Only the ones that are within your gift set and your life purpose. If you took everything that was going, you would soon be burnt out, exhausted or just confused. You would end up taking opportunities that are not suitable for you.

Successful people in every field are experts. They have learnt to say “NO” to a lot of things in order to focus on the “one thing” which lines up with their inner compass.

Successful leaders hone their skills to the point of mastery. It’s not about being good, it’s about being excellent. In order to be outstanding you need to know how to stand out.

In our “Resilient Leadership” seminars for young people we sort through a list of values and get participants to prioritise them in the order that resonates with them. This multi-sensory experience gets you “in touch” with your inner compass of what is important to you. After that participants get to fill in a questionnaire designed to get to the “one thing” which floats your boat, or cranks your engine. The results are life changing, but not only that, you are then able to intelligently discern what to say “NO” to! When you know what you are about you also know what to leave out. It is easy to say “no” to the good in favour of the great!

Here is a snippet of the questionnaire, or as we call it: “The Quest for the One Thing”

The Quest:

You have forty eight hours to live, what would you do? Who would you be with? Where are you going?
This is not a scam, you have just inherited $1 Million. What will you do with it?
Because of time travel, you have the privilege of being able to read your own obituary. What does it say? What would you like it to say?
You have 3 minutes with one of the most attractive person you have ever met. They ask you to tell them about yourself.  They are listening intently, what do you say?
If money wasn’t an issue, time wasn’t a problem and you had unlimited talent. What would you be doing? Where would you be living? Who would be there with you?
You are in a lift (elevator) with a potential client. You have 60 seconds to tell them about your company and yourself. What would you say?
What makes you really angry? What would you join a march or a picket line for?
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
You are really happy! Totally ecstatic! Why? What is making you so happy?
Picture yourself in five years time
What have you become?
Where do you live?
What would you be doing?
What do you have?
Who are you now?
You get three wishes from a Genie. What do you wish for?
Name three things that other people tell you that you are good at.

What you are looking for is patterns, patterns that are a rich tapestry woven with the heart-felt, deep desires of your being.

Once you have completed this exercise and you have been coached in your quest for your “forte” or your “mission.” You can start asking the big question: “How can I do this one thing in an excellent way in order to earn an income from it?” Remember that people will not pay for average. If desperate they may pay for good, but they will relentlessly pursue you for “excellent.”

Mario Cortés regularly travels around Australia and the world from his base in Tasmania to speak on topics relating to leadership and innovation. Some of these include: key speaker at the HGLV (Hume Global Learning Village) Annual Conference on Creativity and Innovation. Also the Tasmanian State Conference on Adult Literacy where he presented an innovative approach based on Emotional Intelligences for motivating learners.As a facilitator, his style is informal and informative. Fun is a great vehicle for successful learning and Mario enjoys training, making it both entertaining and transforming. When asked about educators and trainers, his response is “If the student’s aren’t learning, it’s because the trainers aren’t training. The whole idea of behaviour-changing delivery is that the trainer needs to adjust to the learner’s style, not the other way around. By making the training session an event, rather than a routine, you can enhance the experience and increase attention and retention.”Mario’s passion and content have not emerged out of a book, although he is an avid reader, but as a property developer and company director he is able to walk the walk. This breadth of experience allows him to relate to the ebb and flow of motivating a team, project management (currently managing the refurbishment of their 35 room Conference Centre) as well as showing leadership in the local community. This full-schedule approach to life has given him tremendous insights into managing his team, his time and himself.Mario holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree as well as Advanced Certificates in: Business, Administration, Rural Business Management, Frontline Management, TESOL and Training and Assessment (TAA40104). His preference in training is Management and Leadership Skills, Financial Management, Administration and Communication. In addition to that he is accredited by the Australian Psychologist’s Press to administer psychometric tools such as MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)
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