Opportunity Makers, Embracing Differences, and Creating Something Meaningful.

Opportunity Makers, Embracing Differences, and Creating Something Meaningful.


“We all want to use our talents to create something meaningful with our lives. But how to get started?”

This is a pretty great invitation.

My friend Norbert shared a TED Talk that Kare Anderson (a columnist for Forbes) gave back in September of 2014, and I had so many “Aha!” moments watching it, that I really just had to share it. One of the things I love about Norbert is that he challenges me on so many levels, I can’t help but grow. He sent a note today where he was doing a bit of thinking out loud about an “Aha!” moment of his own. He talked about really wanting to embrace people who were different than he was, and boy did this resonate with me.

We are often confronted by moments of connection with people who really challenge our ideas, our values and our points of view. Shutting the door to that connection may be the easiest and most comfortable thing to do, but there are so many incredible opportunities that are lost when we do that. In sharing this talk Kare gave, Norbert really illustrated the importance of grokking that.

One of the things that really resonated with me was a particular observation Kare made about people who are the greatest “opportunity makers”:

“They’re not affronted by differences. They’re fascinated by them.”

I think this is a real calling, something very important to consider and embrace. It’s Norbert’s mission, and one I wholeheartedly share. Kare also issued another challenge that aligns with my core values and beliefs:

“To re-imagine a world where we use our best talents together more often to accomplish greater things together than we could on our own.”

Amen. That’s not some trite bit of wisdom flipped out as a sound-byte. It really is one of the biggest opportunities that social media enables in so easily connecting us together to collaborate on, well, just about any damned thing we want! It’s a pretty big deal, and Kare offers a few great stories that illustrate just how quickly seemingly tiny moments of bridge building can amplify great things.

Kare closed sharing a quote from Dave Liniger (co-founder of RE/MAX):

“You can’t succeed coming to a potluck with only a fork”.

There are moments that I feel guilty for my evangelical zeal in sharing the things that I am passionate about in better world scouting on Facebook and elsewhere, but these last two quotes give me the reassurance that it’s where a lot of the value is if “opportunity making” is your lens.

So, Norbert, my pink fuzzy bunny slipper friend, thank you, once again, for reaching across the globe through the electrons to share something that aligns deeply, and for doing as you always do: taking it one step further and challenging me to act on it, as you did, in your deeper note.

I’m sharing your wisdom here, with gratitude.