Leadership Is… Prioritizing the Opportunities

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Something is comforting about familiarity. This can be true of one’s scheduled routines, the people one associates with, the places one visits, the television shows one watches, or the websites one visits. In all of that familiarity, there is an intertwining of opportunities gained or lost through the conscious or subconscious alignment of priorities.

Planning For Growth And Development

Leaders need to be intentional about planning and executing behaviors that foster growth and development. In discussing competing priorities, Cartwright (2007) stated, “Our behaviors may be serving a commitment that is much stronger than the goal we espouse. We have to unearth this underlying priority to identify it and deal with the resulting conflict” (p. 19). This is often easier said than done, but with intention and constant reassessment, a leader can make great strides over time.

Developing Priorities

It has been said that too much of a good thing can become harmful. Indeed, when a leader has too many priorities, they can become lost in abundance and an inability to see a clear way forward. A leader can become paralyzed by having too many competing priorities. Fearful of choosing incorrectly, a leader may delay or even omit actions that may lead to further success.

A leader has to intentionally build in protection from the demands they place upon themselves, as well as those hurled at them by others. The only way this is accomplished is through planning and intentional effort. Something as simple as firmly placing space within a daily calendar for reflection and time to simply think unobstructedly is often key to a leader’s growth and development.

Finding Fresh Perspective

People can become so anesthetized to common, repeated, or internal opportunities that it often takes intentional effort to seek outside information, advice, or even a critique to help move the inner needle for the leader and the organization. A leader has to stay connected with the trends of their field and the thoughts and actions of those other leaders they admire. In those connections, a leader finds the keys to unlock the potential of their mind and a different ability to lead effectively.

In taking intentional action, by seeking to upset the everyday familiarity, a leader possesses the keys to tremendous growth in themselves, those they influence, and the organization’s trajectory. However, it is one thing to know where the keys are, it takes courage to insert the keys into the lock and release an unknown potential, and that is the treasure awaiting great leaders.

Do you need guidance to prioritize opportunities for your organization? Contact the team at Achieve Onward to set up a strategic planning session.


Cartwright, T. (2007). Setting Priorities: Personal Values, Organizational Results. Pfeiffer Publishing.

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