Risk Taking or Dream Making

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

Risk is inherent in any endeavor. Leaders know the more time they spend not taking risk the slower they grow. Risk is simply growth, taking on new skills or opportunities you have yet to learn about. By limiting risk, you limit learning, and if you are not learning, you are not growing …. you are shrinking.

Warren Bennis noticed leaders who take risks make one or two big mistakes a year and leaders who don’t take risks make one or two big mistakes a year. Leaders get mistakes will happen and remain open to learning from mistakes to improve. When we limit our growth, we stagnate and so to do others around us.

“Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.” Tim McMahon

If you are always focused on getting it right you are losing the opportunity to see new possibilities. It is through trial and error that growth happens.

To create new ideas you have to allow yourself or others fail… Companies build exploration into design groups, research, beta stages, testing, etc. All new ideas need a place to have a trail run…as do people. The best learning happens by doing.

Keeping an open requires only that we remain open and ask “how could I do this?” vs “why should I do this?”. When people stop learning, organizations stop growing.

“I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.” G.K. Chesterton

We live in a world steeped in the false expectation that we “get it right the first time.” This is just not true and yet the expectation continues. Odd but true.

Being comfortable with “getting into hot water” with the full knowledge of being prepared for course correction helps build a healthy path for success.

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” Author Unknown

Leaders take risks to expand the horizons for themselves and others. To lead others one must constantly be in a personal growth mode. To not grow would limit the possibilities for self and others. The conundrum here is sometimes “not changing” can provide good short term results and many buy into the short term gains at the expense of long term growth.

To take risks in today’s world you have to constantly and consistently be planting many long term growth ideas or you will not be able to deliver short term growth constantly and consistently.

“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.” Winston Churchill

If there is a secret to risk it is belief. Pick up any leadership book and they all boils down to what are the leader’s core values and beliefs.

Being clear and true to who and how you are means it is no longer about risk, it is about following a dream with passion, courage, conviction, foresight and insight.

Risk taking is no longer risk taking when you are following a grand and powerful dream that creates positive outcomes for all involved.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Dream big and live true,

Bobbie Goheen

What do you think?