True greatness lies in exploring the very limits of human ability; and then pushing them even further – Albert & Comfort Ocran.
A delegation of Ghanaian handicraft exporters went on a trade mission to the United States in the early nineties to prospect for potential buyers. The cane products in particular caught the attention of a giant retail firm that initiated a discussion about a potential order in batches of 40,000 pieces for all their 20,000 shops. The exporters suddenly started fidgeting and stuttering at the most basic questions. Apparently, none of them had handled an order exceeding a few hundred pieces.
The importer was both concerned and surprised; so he begun to find out if there was any reason why they could not deliver the order. He asked about the availability of financing, labour, management and technology. All these areas had minor issues but the biggest surprise was in the area of raw materials.
When asked about how many hectares of the raw material, rattan, were annually cultivated in Ghana, the amused exporters’ honest response was that the product only grew in the wild in the Western region of Ghana. That was the end of the discussion because the size of order they were discussing required a dependable and uninterrupted source of deliberately cultivated raw materials.
How many times have we gotten big opportunities in life but lacked the capacity to fully take advantage of them? Capacity refers to the maximum ability to produce, perform or contain. The issue of capacity is at the very heart of how prepared we are to seize our opportunities. It is not enough for a business person to praying for bigger orders and constantly prospecting for new clients. Equally important is the level of readiness to handle opportunities when they come.
What size of opportunity are you prepared for today?
What would you do if someone brought the equivalent of year’s work to you to deliver in a month? Would you complain or take advantage?
Are there supporting arrangements or back-ups you could fall on?
Answering these and other related questions could help in your preparation as you expand your capacity to take advantage of your opportunities.
Capacity at any time could be financial, material, social or even mental. In today’s knowledge-driven economy, your mental capacity is one of the most important factors you must develop for career success.
Your first steps towards expanding your mental capacity could be committing to a planned programme of reading and self-improvement.
A manufacturer can expand capacity by modernising production units, deploying shifts, improving technology or increasing efficiency through process re-engineering. For a supervisor seeking a managerial promotion, building capacity could mean taking a management course or learning from a mentor. Whatever you do, look for ways to improve and expand your capacity in readiness for new opportunities.
Key Thought: I shall expand my mental capacity by daily learning and reading.
Culled from “101 Keys to Achievement and Fulfillment“ by Albert & Comfort Ocran © 2008