By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
Have you ever taken a risky leap at an opportunity that was a fantastic experience? At the time, it may have seemed to be a crazy decision, but you look back on it and smile when you think about it.
That happened to me when I decided to participate in the "Honeywell Icon" competition (their version of American Idol) at a global sales conference when I worked for Honeywell years ago.
I bring this up because I acquired some amazing leadership lessons from this experience that I'd like to share with you around embracing opportunities and obtaining success:
1. You're More Prepared Than You Think You Are
I didn't think I was good enough to enter the competition when I first heard about it. I hadn't done karaoke for decades, even though, at the time, I was playing guitar and singing at open mics.
Lessons Learned: Many of us underestimate ourselves when we have what it takes to succeed. After examining the opportunity and asking mentors or trusted colleagues if they believe it's worth considering, move on to the next step.
2. Take a Calculated Leap
I decided to practice the song I chose (Desperado by The Eagles) to see if it was worth the risk. After that, I knew my previous performance experience would give me the confidence I needed. With the urging of my co-workers, I signed up within 15 minutes of the competition.
When it came time for me to sing, I went all in and had a blast. It helped that many in the audience had overindulged quite a bit, so people were over the top with my performance, especially my colleagues.
Lessons Learned: If you have the qualifications, go for it! Don’t give into imposter syndrome; embrace the opportunity and make the best of it!
If you determine you're not qualified at present and it's something you would love to do in the future, take steps to prepare yourself for future opportunities.
3. Reap the Rewards & Learn from Your Mistakes
While singing, I made a slight mistake that I quickly caught before it became significant, so nobody noticed. I pretended like nothing wrong had happened.
In the end, I won the Honeywell Icon title. I achieved my 15 minutes of fame and enjoyed every minute of it! Winning this silly competition brought confidence that carried over into many areas of my life, all because I took the leap of faith and succeeded.
Lessons Learned: Minimize mistakes along the way so they don't become more prominent and noticeable. Also, be sure to learn what you can from them.
When you succeed, celebrate the victory before moving on to the next opportunity. So many times, we forget to do that! Then, translate your newly gained confidence to the following tasks at hand.
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