Monday, March 10, 2014

Jobs: Visionaries x Opportunists

I. Read the text below. Focus on the differences between a visionary and an opportunist.

Inspired by the wonderful worth-visiting site:


The Oxford Dictionary defines opportunism as “the practice of looking for and using opportunities to gain an advantage for oneself, without considering if this is fair or right.” I’m not sure moral rationale should be part of the definition, and therefore it can be simplified as “An opportunist is someone that finds and takes advantage of opportunities.” Does that sound like you?


Unlike an opportunist, a visionary not only finds opportunities, but they are able to sustain a vision – a direction. A visionary is able to differentiate between opportunities of the moment and sustainable opportunities for the future. A visionary is an opportunist, but an opportunist is not a visionary.

  • An opportunist feels the temptation to take all opportunities that come their way.
  • Opportunists see the current opportunity as a once-in-a-lifetime
    opportunity, while visionaries know that there are many
    once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
  • A visionary is confident that their vision won’t be hindered by
    masquerading opportunities that will inevitably take them off course.
  • Essentially, a visionary is able to differentiate between the opportunities that benefit the vision and those that detour it.
  • Opportunists are often lost when an opportunity is fulfilled and
    motivated by new opportunity rather than confidence in a solid

II. Explain, using your own words, the difference between visionaries and opportunists.

III. Explain "A visionary is an opportunist, but an opportunist is not a visionary."

IV. Many people believe that Steven Jobs, the brain behind Apple, was an unforgettable visionary, who made Apple what it is today. Others think that he was an opportunist, in the sense of the definition provided above, in a positive manner. Do you have an opinion about him?

V. Watch the movie segment about two moments in Jobs's trajectory to success and answer the questions that follow in small groups.

1. Describe the two ideas he had in mind in the movie scenes. 

2. Why were they considered revolutionary?

3. Do you think he had visions of how life should be in the future or was he just trying to get the most he could from the present? Explain it.

4. What's your opinion about Steven Jobs? 

5. Think about three people you consider opportunists and  three people you consider visionaries. Explain your choices. 



  1. Hi, Claudio
    Congrats on the blog, it's very nice.
    Suggestions of topics: Conflict / Managing People