My house desperately needs a new roof and a new paint job. And a new furnace. And a new dishwasher… 🙂 So we’re in the process of refinancing in order to pull out some of its equity for the repairs. I live in Portland, so since there are only about twelve sunny days a year, there’s a limited window of time in which you can actually book a roofer or a painter — after all, that impending Oregon liquid sunshine is always looming. But here’s the catch I discovered: no refinance will ever be approved if your house is in any way, shape, or form under construction. So I can’t start the construction — or even book a team — until the refinance has gone through. As the summer rapidly dwindles away, the timing is getting more challenging by the day.
It’s an ironic and frustrating cycle. I’m missing out on opportunities for roofers as my window of time starts to shrink. And it got me thinking: how many opportunities do we miss as leaders because we ignore the people who are ‘under construction’? Who are more of a risk? Who are being remodeled because their industry dissolved and they are in the process of rebuilding themselves for a new trade, figuring out how to adapt their skills and gifts to a market that can’t yet see their value? They always say it’s easier to get a job when you already have a job, but how many excellent candidates are lost in that shuffle, simply because they appear on the outside to be outdated or incomplete? In so many examples in life, the higher risks often lead to the higher rewards. True, they can also lead to great loss, but isn’t that always the dilemma we face?
The answer to this question is unique to every leader and every circumstance, but it’s still well worth asking: Where are you so cautious that you’re missing or postponing opportunities? On an individual basis, where do we hold ourselves back because we think we need to have everything in place before we can take a leap? Last week we talked about the school in Sweden that’s designed for every one versus the school for all. I don’t know, maybe it’s just loan fatigue setting in, but I couldn’t help but wonder: what could we do if we were willing to invest in “every one,” including people under construction?