I heard a speech from Aaron Thomas who was thrust into the spotlight when his father, a longtime high school coach, was murdered by one of his players. The junior Thomas was quite eloquent in delivering his message about controlling your attitude, even when you can’t control what happens to you, and trying to do right no matter what the circumstances.

He also spoke about the intersection between platform and opportunity. Thomas said that you need to be prepared with your message — to know what you value and what you wish to convey to others — so that if you are given the opportunity, you have a platform ready to share. His opportunity came with national attention at the time of his father’s death, but he said that he had learned lessons throughout his life that allowed him to speak of forgiveness and compassion at a time of unimaginable grief. 

I think of all the life lessons each of us has accumulated, and wonder whether we have given them any intentional thought. If you were called to speak into a microphone today, do you have your platform developed of what matters to you and what you want to convey? In other words, if opportunity knocks, are you ready to answer?

The opportunity could come in terms of delivering reflections at a time of loss, or it could be that you are given a chance to lead a new venture. If asked what you stand for, could you say?

None of us knows when we will need to articulate our platform or under what circumstances this could be. Take a moment to reflect on what we would like our message to be, then live those values, with or without the formal microphone.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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