Leadership Pathway #113: Embrace Risks

Do you take risks? I’ll bet you do. In fact, I would wager you take them all the time. The difference may be in whether you choose them or not.

The benefits of taking calculated risks have been written about by many people. Almost all of them tell us the same thing: The thinking and actions that got us to where we are now will not keep us here.

This is because the world is constantly changing around us. If we fail to change with it, we risk being changed by it. For example, if our organisation is successful and we choose to stick with our current strategy, we are guaranteed to lose that success over time. 

By failing to adapt to changing market conditions we risk our market position. Failing to keep our skills current, we risk our ability to earn as much as our skills become outdated or replaced by technology. A key leadership skill is being able to embrace change when it is required.

All change is a risk. The change that we choose is a calculated risk. The change we ignore becomes an uncalculated risk. Ignoring change and leaving ourselves exposed to uncalculated risks is the path of fallen empires, stalled companies that once dominated, and people who have become trapped in jobs and lives they no longer want.

Recently, a client of mine compared his leadership decisions to the precision that professional poker players use in taking risks. When the players realised their success was at stake, they took calculated risks to improve their winnings. Many times they had tremendous success, and others they lost. Regardless, the poker players lived to play another day and to take another calculated risk to advance their position. 

And so it is with us. We have all taken calculated risks. Sometimes we have been rewarded with success and other times we were given a chance to try again. It takes courage and skilled leadership to continually face up to and embrace risks. Sure, we can ignore risks and hope things will stay the same, but in a world full of change we are taking risks either way we go.

It is never too late to take the lead in choosing our risks. 

Coaching Inquiries: Which risk would you rather take, the one you choose or the one chosen for you by circumstances? Can you remember a time when you took a risk that really paid off for you? What are you risking right now by avoiding change around you that requires your action?

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Michael J. Alafaci (malafaci@solutionmaps.com)
Solution Maps

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