Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Risky Business

To steal a quote from a classic 80’s movie, “Sometimes you just hafta say WTF”, (Risky Business).

In their drive to be successful (or to stay on the payroll) leaders, especially new ones, often begin to be driven by a fear of failure which actually ends up overshadowing their desire to succeed. This puts them into risky areas that can't be sustained for long periods. People begin to look at their past successes creating undo pressure on themselves. Questions start swirling in their mind as to whether they’ll be able to sustain the great performance they’ve been used to. About the worst thing you can do is start thinking, “how am I going to top that?” The more you do this, the worse it gets. Leadership speaker Mark Sanborn says that, “The longer a leader is successful, the higher his or her perceived cost of failure.” You can’t let fear drive down your success.

When leaders are driven by the fear of failure, they become unable to take reasonable risks. They tend to stick with the time proven, “we’ve always done it that way” (I hate that statement), accomplishments. Ideas – great ideas – that come about (or could come about) never get developed. Remember, we’re talking reasonable risks here. Good leadership never takes reckless chances that could end up risking things that have already been achieved, but you also can't sit back and do nothing.

Take a good look at yourself and your accomplishments. What have they been? How did you come up with them? When were they? What have you been doing since? You may be in a rut and don’t know it.

So take a queue from an old 80’s classic movie – or a shoe advertisement – and just do it!

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