Yesterday I went for a summer get-together in my VL network group. Over a super nice summer meal, the discussion was flowing and we got talking about some of the things that you don’t normally find yourself talking about.
One of the discussions I was a part of was a discussion about what defines the opportunities we get in our professional lives. How did we become and do the things that we have become.
After some going back and forth, we agreed that what pretty much defined us had been the ability (and to some extend also luck, I guess) to invite ourselves to the party in crucial, defining moments:
Picking up on a sudden job opportunity presented by a promotion of a boss. Writing that unsolicited application. Sending the CEO an email after a meeting asking “Do you want more of this? I can offer you it”, etc.
Had we not done that our careers had not panned out the way they did (so far). It would have been vastly different. A lot of opportunities would never have been had, including opportunities to help create something meaningful and – in retrospect – perhaps even awesome.
It got me thinking.
How many of those I meet today are inviting themselves, taking charge of the conversation, having the ability and the guts to say “This is mine. I got this!”
Preciously few. Even with the opportunity presented right there in front of them, where it’s basically up for grabs.
Why is this important?
Because it is the people who are inviting themselves – who are leaning in across the table – that you really need on the team. It is those where you have got the feeling that if they continue to do that, chances are they will be awesome in the role. They will take ownership, take charge.
Because they care and really, really want it.
You want to be around people who really, really want it. It brings out not only the best in them but also the best in you.