The window for success is closing

Published 12:26pm Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dr. J. David Jackson

We live in an opportunistic society, and at times it seems as if individuals, leaders and companies exploit other’s weaknesses for personal gain. Business strategists often refer to this as the zero-sum game.

A competition between two parties in which someone has to win and someone has to lose.

This thinking is shortsighted and selfish because it fails to consider solutions from which more people would benefit.

There is a more inclusive mindset called seize the moment in the window of opportunity, where the only loser is the one who does not seize the opportunity presented.

Windows of opportunity are present when it appears as if the stars are in perfect alignment, all resources (i.e., money and people) are available and conditions are perfect for success. Organizations, sport teams, leaders and communities develop a keen awareness of windows of opportunity and they act when they are present.

The downside associated with windows of opportunity is that windows open and they close just as fast. When they are gone they are gone. Unfortunately some windows are missed because individuals become so preoccupied with the past that they fail to see the future.

The only thing that’s left is regret for not taking full advantage of the opportunity.

Helen Keller, the inspirational author who was blind most of her life said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

As an objective observer, I am convinced Selma is missing a rapidly closing window of opportunity.

As an example, there are more similarities among people in this community than differences. If you conduct an unscientific poll, you might be surprised to find out the majority of people want a safe, prosperous community to include a vibrant downtown; major industries in town; a competitive, all inclusive school system and a community where everyone is working together for a common good.

However, the primary reason the window of opportunity will be missed is there are too many people focused on differences rather than focusing on what is common to all.

Selma’s residents are getting older and the young people who can grasp this vision and do something about it are leaving town.

The clock is ticking and the window is closing. Who will take the lead to ensure Selma does not miss this opportunity?

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