We all take risks.
Small, medium, large.
Scary, exciting, exhilarating.
Some succeed, some are flops.
Some repel us, some pull us forward.
What may energize you may cause fear in others. And vice versa.
The fact is: None of us would be where we are today if we hadn’t taken risks and learned from them. Each time we do, we stretch the boundaries of our comfort zone a bit more. That’s healthy.
The fear or resistance you notice when considering a work-related risk can be eased, and potential for success increased, by using risk-mitigating tools. Some you may do naturally, some may be a stretch.
Mitigating risk broadens your thinking and moves you forward. I thought I’d share with you some tools that can make the process easier.
12 ways to mitigate risk, in no particular order (there are many more).
- Visualize the outcome you want, see yourself making it happen. Daily.
- Write your thoughts about it, push your thinking. Writing leads to discovering additional thoughts/ideas you have within, below the surface.
- Write a pros/cons list
- Ask what is the worst that could happen
- Assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (the old SWOT analysis). Do it alone and with others to flush out additional possibilities.
- Research, educate yourself, let others research for you
- Talk with supporters to get their perspectives
- Talk with adversaries to get their perspectives. You may be surprised at what you can learn by approaching this with a learner’s mind.
- Split it into smaller steps
- Take your ego out of it
- Rehearse how to frame it succinctly
- Assess how you will feel a month, year, decade from now if you don’t take the risk
Taking smart risks is a significant aspect of every successful leader’s journey. They won’t all be spot-on successes, but what you learn from each one can be invaluable.
I love this Japanese proverb: Fall down seven times, get up eight