More likely than finding our “heart,” we fall in love with where we end up.
One good friend is an extremely talented and thoughtful MBA student. More than anything else, he aspires to live a professional life for which he is passionate. His family is very involved with Real Estate, yet he has always had reservations about becoming immersed in the family business. He could set his mind on one day leading this enterprise, but he chooses not to. There are aspects of the business he does not like. Whether it is the values of the business or the product itself, he often thinks of dismissing the opportunity entirely.
While we may push him to really “follow his heart,” we should also consider the other option: to seize this opportunity and build upon it. After a long discussion with him, I wondered why he was so hesitant to consider the changes he could make within the business. With an incredible engine, a good designer has quite the opportunity to construct a remarkable car.
From what I hear, Corning Glass is a great example. What used to be a luxury glass manufacturer (think olive bowls and cookware) became one of the largest technology component companies (think fiber optics). This revolution was facilitated by new leadership (from within the family) with a new skill set and completely different interests. For a small family run company in Corning, NY, it took a new perspective from within the family business to transform the company.
Momentum is a precious resource in business (or any discipline). With the need for cash-flow and a stable infrastructure, it is hard enough to launch a business - yet alone be in the black. Even beyond businesses, we should all consider the different dimensions of the resources and opportunities we have in place.
If you have the good fortune of having a resource or opportunity at your disposal, consider what you could do within it before moving beyond it.
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