10 Ways to Become a Risk-Taker

“Real change agents comprise less than
10% of all business people,” Jack Welch.

Most leaders play not-to-lose rather than playing to win, especially in large organizations. The more we have to lose the more we play not-to-lose.

What we protect owns, limits, and controls us.

What we risk propels us forward.

When to risk:

An unsatisfying present continues until you step toward your new future. If the present satisfies, roll over and go back to sleep. Listen to discontent – it’s yelling, “Get up and get moving.”

If the present is unsatisfying, risk losing it. It’s riskier not to risk when the present sucks.

Risk-taker questions:

  1. What could you gain?
  2. What could you lose?
  3. What happens if you don’t change?
  4. Who do you want to be? “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.  To not dare is to lose oneself,” Soren Kierkegaard.
  5. What’s in you that suggests success is possible?
  6. What weaknesses require compensation? Risks become peril when you ignore your weaknesses – build the team.

Risk-taker practices:

  1. 70% certainty is enough.
  2. Postpone all or nothing moments. Don’t go all in on the first play.
  3. Use long-term purpose to fuel passion and provide guidance. Set one eye on the future while focusing on the present.
  4. Acknowledge failure courageously and quickly.
  5. Adopt experimental mode. Say, “Let’s see what happens.” Failed experiments aren’t cataclysmic, they’re expected.
  6. Success isn’t the path to success – learning is. “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it,”  Pablo Picasso.
  7. Keep opposites handy. Those who aren’t like you add more value than those who are.
  8. Don’t quit! Adapt.
  9. Measure and evaluate progress.
  10. Adapt again.

Bonus: Have fun. (Include on all lists.)

What questions can risk-takers ask?

How do you decide a risk is worth taking?

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