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There is pretty much only one reality TV show that I watch and that is American Idol. As I began watching the auditions a consistent theme came to mind — Sometimes, in order for us to achieve greatness, it begins with someone giving us that all important chance.

Almost all of the participants (the good ones at least — not the ones there for their 12 seconds of fame) ask the judges to “give them a chance” — the break that they need to prove themselves.  Regardless of their story (and some of them break your heart) … to some degree, I am rooting for them because I love it when people make the most of the chance their given.

Right now I am looking to make a career change and I wish I could stand in front of every HR professional, founder or recruiter and say “just give me a chance – I will prove myself in Hollywood” … Okay, I would drop the Hollywood part but you know what I mean.

There are people out there that have a lifetime of chances to give. My dad is one of those people. He has always wanted to help the underdog. And recently a good friend of mine told me a story of a construction company that only hires inexperienced people – he has personally taken on the role of helping others in his industry gain experience. Her husband started out that way and today is an extremely successful business owner. Nonprofits such the Delancey Street Foundation exist for the single purpose of giving. Delancey Street gives ex-convicts and ex-addicts a chance to learn a skill, build confidence and become contributing members of our community. And for over 40 years they have been developing a model of social entrepreneurship, education, rehabilitation and change that is exciting and full of hope.

Maybe we should ask for that chance more often? Who knows where it will lead or how history will change if the person on the other side of the conversation says “Yes!!” … or in American Idol’s case … “you’re going to Hollywood!!!”.