Monday, February 16, 2015

Progress always involves risk



My grandpa used to always say, “The only people who make no mistakes are people who do nothing.” There are most certainly a lot of others who have said that, but I like to think it was his – just another tidbit of wisdom he passed on to all of his grandchildren.  Over the years, I’ve used it as a battle cry when uncertainty in my ability to do something new rears its ugly head; when my fear of taking a risk shut down my sense of adventure.

It hasn’t always worked. And the times it didn’t – when fear of failure got the best of me - an opportunity to learn, to grow and to move forward was lost. That fear of taking a risk to avoid failure meant that I also eliminated the possibility of success.

The same goes for risk in business. Do you play it safe or are you willing to jump off the porch to run with the big dogs? Are new ideas, programs or new ways of doing things met with what ifs, the yeah buts, we’ve never done it that way before or the famous eye roll?

Let’s be honest. Some things deserve that response. However, if you foster a culture of “we’ve done it this way for 20 years”, it’s likely that your business won’t be moving forward anytime soon. Creativity and out of the box thinking; things that help you move forward won’t be part of your equation because your employees won’t want to take the chance. And that fear of risk taking causes indecisiveness; indecisiveness leads to lack of action; lack of action won’t lead to success.

This quote from Michael Jordan pretty much sums it up. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. And that’s why I succeed.”

Just saying.


Posted by MJ Thomas

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