Do you take risks? Some people might be identified as risk taking enthusiasts. You have people who are extreme sport athletes, those who might drive a little fast on the highway, and those who take a risk at the casino. They might value risk and assuming you are not in one of those categories, do you value it?
Sure some risk might get your juices flowing, make you feel alive, and if you end up on the right side of the risk you’ll likely feel very happy. Life changing results may come about because of risk, and these results might be positive or they might set you back in an undesirable way.
What about a decisions for self-improvement or a decision to tackle a big project at work? What about speaking up during an uncomfortable situation or offering an idea that you know the boss will not agree with? Do you see any value in taking such risks?
A couple of well-known leadership authors, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, released a training activity book in 2010 titled, The Leadership Challenge, Activities Book, it was edited by the highly admired and very talented, Elaine Biech. I was fortunate to contribute to that book through one of my training activities titled, Take A Risk! (pgs. 217 – 227). This activity appeared in the chapter titled, Challenge the Process. It’s a great book for those who are interested in activities related to leadership development. The reason I’m mentioning it is because it helps build credibility to the idea that value exists in taking reasonable and well calculated risk. Sometimes we have to challenge the process, at least according to some mainstream theories.
Recently I wrote a blog post about the concept of having reasonable expectations and of course the word reasonable might be considered to be very subjective. Later, a friend challenged some of my thinking by asking if this concept might create self-limiting beliefs. A good question I believe, and one that is important for anyone seeking change.
Here are a few of my beliefs about reasonable and calculated risk.
- value risk
- take reasonable risk
- be calculated about our risk
- expand our comfort zone
- recognize that there is risk in safety.
Most of this bullet list is self-explanatory, but let me just provide an additional comment about risk as it relates to safety. Many people live their life by playing it very (or totally) safe. Each person has their own style and comfort associated with risk and the results they achieve. However, there is one fallacy in the concept of playing it safe. The fallacy is that playing it safe, taking very limited or no risk is perhaps one of the riskiest positions you can take. We are living in a world of rapid and constant change, if you are not changing, if you are not stepping away from your comfort zone, you are likely falling behind.
What calculated risks have you taken lately? What risk opportunity did you walk away from that you should have taken?
Risk is part of your growth, or not.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.