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Success Advice

How to Convert Threats Into Opportunities



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People often blame others for the lack of opportunities. They often blame God for not providing opportunities. It is the intelligent leaders who scan the environment, spot opportunities, and grab them.

Opportunity is like a beautiful woman approaching you on wings. Once you’ve seen her, you must grab her and wed her, otherwise, she might go elsewhere to someone else who will spot her and care for her.

Leaders and opportunities

Leaders have a knack for spotting opportunities and are smart at grabbing them. While cynics complain at every opportunity thrown at them, terming them ‘threats’, optimists are grateful for every threat thrown at them, viewing them as opportunities. Leaders are aware that opportunities come in disguise, and therefore they grab them as and when opportunities are thrown at them. 

They know that opportunities are not handed on a platter. Hence, they keep doing what they are supposed to do, and when opportunities come in disguise, they effectively capitalize on them. Jack Welch once remarked, ‘Leadership is seeing opportunity in tough times.’ In fact, tough times are the best times to spot opportunities, as most people are on the run towards safety. 

Mark worked in a research organization as a researcher. The company had to close down due to the recession, and all employees were shown the door. It was a challenging time for all employees. However, Mark took up the challenge and tried for employment in an academic institution, where he could share his knowledge. In fact, Mark had joined a research organization to hone his research skills, which are required in teaching. 

He had resigned from the academic institution as a professor and joined a research organization to work for at least a year to become a successful academician. He had a great amount of experience in the industry, teaching, consultancy, and training, but craved a considerable experience in research organizations. Hence, he joined one such organization.

“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” ―Harry Truman 

Mark converted this threat of organizational closure into an opportunity as he was drawing close to one year’s experience, and began trying for a position as a professor in an academic institution. During the interview, the selection committee enquired whether Mark could justify himself as an academician, as he had broken his links with the academic institution for almost a year. In reply, Mark spoke of his passion for teaching and said that he had joined the research organization to widen his knowledge base. 

He also added that research was an integral part of teaching, and academicians with research backgrounds could add more value to the teaching profession as they would be backed—and packed—with more information, which is usually missing in academic books. The selection committee was overwhelmed by his response and academic passion and offered him the post of senior professor and dean at their business school. 

Mark was pleased with this offer and excelled as a successful academician. From this story, it is obvious that everything is present in our minds. We must know how to convert threats into opportunities.

Problems and prospects

Every problem contains several prospects in disguise. Every threat provides several opportunities when viewed properly. That is possible only when we see the big picture. That means seeing the invisible, something that is possible for leaders. Hence, leaders always look at opportunities rather than threats. When one door closes, leaders often look at the door that has opened, instead of the one that has closed. As has been rightly saying, a pessimist sees threats in opportunities and an optimist sees opportunities in threats. 

People often tend to mitigate threats. However, the leaders have the uncanny ability to convert threats into opportunities thus bringing stability and progress to their companies.

When we observe strategic planners and senior leaders within companies, we see that they have the ability to spot opportunities in emerging threats. They have an uncanny ability to turn threats into opportunities. They do not lose pretty opportunities by saying ‘No’ too soon and ‘Yes’ too late. Hence, always give long thought to these two short words to excel as a successful leader.

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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