Leadership Lesson 10: Seize the Moment

Over the last 20 years as I have been in leadership, I have noticed a trend that is so prevalent among leaders who move organizations -- they seize the moment. What does it mean for a leader to seize the moment?

The first requirement of a leader is to be keenly aware of his/her environment.

Leaders often see opportunities where others do not. While at Ohio Christian University, I have been approached by many groups and organizations wanting to partner together on various projects. Being aware of what is happening in the Church, the Circleville community, and beyond has allowed us to choose the projects that will truly move OCU forward with its mission. Leader, be aware of opportunity matches. In other words, get out of your office and meet people so you know what is happening.

The second requirement is to be open to new ideas.

Often I hear ideas that seem far-fetched, but every time I open my mind to really listen to others, I learn. Some of the best ideas seem to be the most ridiculous at first glance, but through thoughtful planning, these ideas become organization-movers.

The third requirement is to make connections with those who can help you gain insight into the opportunity being presented.

A major key to leadership is to understand and connect with people who have the knowledge and expertise in the new areas being considered. I constantly surround myself with experts on many topics to facilitate growth and opportunities. I have learned that any subject expert is only a phone call away. I have also created a file of these individuals so I may readily tap their expertise when needed.

The fourth requirement is a willingness to be courageous and move forward on projects.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of seizing the moment is having the courage to move quickly on opportunities. Opportunities are fleeting and one must quickly make decisions in this technology-filled world. Many times, I have needed courage to take those steps. For example, recently I had to choose whether or not to invest many hours in our community to help with its economic development. High risk, high reward, if achieved, but the decision had to be made. It takes courage to step out and help lead a community. It takes courage to lead a church or business, but we must seize the moment.

With each new opportunity and new idea, I use the anchor of prayer as the guiding decision maker in my life. Leader, let's seize the moment.