Changemaker Challenge: Give Someone an Opportunity

This week I’ve been reflecting on the quote “talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.”

I’ve found this to be true both at a global/societal level as a social entrepreneur as well as an organizational level as a leader. How much untapped potential and ability is there in the world simply because someone has not (yet) been given a chance to shine? One of the consistent themes throughout my career is that when I place my trust in someone and give them a chance to step up, the results far exceed my expectations. And that single opportunity can often be a catalyst for many more opportunities.

My challenge to you is simply this: in the next 3 days, consciously give someone an opportunity. Regardless of where you are professionally, financially, geographically or socially, there is always a way to provide someone else an opportunity. This could be many things, for instance:

  • Asking a direct report to take the lead on a big project instead of doing it yourself.
  • Taking a back seat in a presentation to the CEO so that your more reticent colleague can get the spotlight.
  • Committing to mentoring someone for the next three months
  • Introducing an unemployed friend to 5 contacts to help jumpstart their job search
  • Making a loan on Kiva to help an entrepreneur launch her business

I hope that this post inspires you on your changemaker journey. I send weekly emails to help you be the change our world needs — to do good and lead courageously. Join us at

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.