I grew up self “diagnosed” as an insecure, skinny, and largely ignored kid. In some degree I still am. It really does stick with us because when we are treated that way we feel invisible sometimes or talked around and at. I started to look at people, which is mostly all I did, and noticed that some people really wanted attention and recognition. There are other people I observed who had a mutuality mindset. In each situation they found a way to talk about us and create that “us” idea.
So the idea is to reimagine the world where we all become greater opportunity-makers with and for others. There’s no greater opportunity or call for action for us now than to become opportunity-makers who use best talents together more often for the greater good and accomplish things we couldn’t have done on our own. Even more than giving is the capacity for us to do something smarter together for the greater good that lifts us both up and that can scale. Each one of you reading this is better than anybody else at something. That disproves that popular notion that if you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room.
So many people ask me “Bryan Wilks what the heck do you do!” They say one minute your doing packaging the next your in Hollywood (or something seemingly random). My answer is I am an opportunity- maker. I recognize that more than wealth or fancy titles or a huge number of contacts is a capacity to connect around each other’s better side and bring it out. I’m not saying this is easy and I have made the wrong connections before but what I want to suggest is this is an opportunity. I started thinking about it way back when I worked in Washington DC in politics. I started developing contacts in different worlds very different than mine and began to see the world from their view. That’s what opportunity-makers do.
Here’s a strange thing: Unlike an increasing number of Americans who are working, living, and playing with people who think exactly like them because we then become more rigid and extreme, opportunity-makers are actively seeking situations with people unlike them. They’re building relationships and because they do that they have trusted relationships where they can bring the right team in and recruit them to solve a problem better and faster and seize more opportunities. They’re not affronted by differences, they’re fascinated by them, and that is a huge shift in mindset. Once you feel it you want it to happen more. This world is calling out for us to have a collective mindset and I believe in doing that. It’s especially important now because things can be devised like drones, drugs, and data collection. They can be devised by more people and cheaper ways for beneficial purposes. As we know from the news every day they can be used for dangerous ones. It calls on us, each of us, to a higher calling.
Here’s the icing on the cake: It’s not just the first opportunity that you do with somebody else that’s probably your greatest as an institution or an individual. It’s after you’ve had that experience and you trust each other. It’s the unexpected things that you devise later on you never could have predicted.
There are three traits of opportunity-makers. Opportunity-makers keep honing their top strength and they become pattern seekers. They get involved in different worlds than their worlds so they’re trusted and they can see those patterns, and they communicate to connect around sweet spots of shared interest.
I truly believe, in my firsthand experience, the world is hungry for us to use our best talents together more often to accomplish greater things together than we could on our own. Just remember you can’t succeed coming to the potluck with only a fork.