When Preparation Meets Opportunity

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: when preparation meets opportunity

My good friend and colleague, Chad Barr, shared a video depicting the wonderful pianist/vocalist Billy Joel working with a class at Vanderbilt University. A student, Michael Pollack (after offering a brief statement about his musical “chops”) asks if he can accompany Billy Joel on one Michael’s favorite Billy Joel tunes, “New York State of Mind.” After a second or 2, Billy Joel simply responds, “Okay.” Here’s the video:

I hope you took a few minutes to watch it.

This video depicts what happens when preparation meets opportunity. You get one take. You rise to the occasion or suffer a crueler fate. Musicians do it. EMTs do it. Firefighters, doctors, Olympics athletes all do it.

When your number is called, you’re on stage and ready to go with a moments notice. You may have prepared for months or years. You are in the moment and not just playing the piano but putting on a show for an audience. One take. No “do-overs.” And, what a show that video depicts.

Yet, when you consider the auditions for a show like American Idol, thousands and thousands are whittled down to 20 in a relative heart beat. For 99.9%, preparation did not meet opportunity. And, that’s not how you thrive.

Thought for the week:

 “Do yourself a favor and take a risk this week. You may be surprised what happens when you abandon the comfort zone and embrace the adventure.” – Hal Croasmun


What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!


Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting


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