“The difference between the privileged and the impoverished are the number of chances they get.” Malcolm Gladwell
When I heard this, Gladwell was relating it to being born in the right place at the right time. His point is, that if you come from a privileged background, you have more opportunity than one coming from a poor neighborhood.
Hard to dispute that.
But, it got me thinking about opportunity.
The Bible has a great story about talents/opportunity. The boss gives one guy one talent. He gives another guy three talents. He gives the fifth guy five talents.
The guys with one and three talents do nothing with them. Rather than put the talents to work, they sit on them. When the boss asks them what they did, they simply returned them to him figuring that they can’t lose by returning the original amount.
The guy with five put them to work and earned five more.
The guy with five was doing what he was expected to do. The guy with one and three was not. He fired those two guys and gave their talents to the one who’s double his take.
There are a lot of lessons there but here is one: when chances come your way, you have to work to convert them.
If you are impoverished, you don’t get many. It’s important to convert them.
If you are privileged, you might get another shot, but if you continue to blow them, you will move to impoverished.
But, if you convert your chances, your privilege grows.
I’m not just thinking of individuals. It applies to us as a company. Every chance we get and convert, our confidence and reputation grow. The opportunities find those who convert them.
There are a lot of folks in our organization who started closer to impoverished than privileged. They’ve done great work to convert their chances.
The road to success is taking chances and converting them.
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