Archives For risk

Within every great leader there is the desire to expand his and explore new territories. There’s something about leadership that draws leaders towards growing their sphere of influence.

However, if a leader is not careful, he can easily overstep his boundaries. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Boundaries are there for a reason

Image by Jenny Downing

Will you raise your hand if you want to expand your level of influence? Check! I see that hand go up.

Will you raise your hand if you want to move into new areas of leadership (New territories)? Check. I see that hand as well.

I know, as leaders, we’re always looking for new ways to grow our influence and enter into new territories. This can be difficult, especially if we’re not the main leader of an organization.

Do you get what I’m talking about?

The Thrill Of The Plunge

February 5, 2014 — 28 Comments

During my whitewater rafting trip, I had the opportunity to take a plunge. Literally, off the side of a cliff.

The plunge was scary. The height from which we jumped seemed like it may shatter a bone.

Yet after I jumped off of the ledge, it was thrilling. There was a sense of freedom knowing I was able to plunge 40 feet and come out unscathed.

How similar is this to our leadership journey?

The decision to climb up the cliff was mine. No one forced me or coerced me. I willingly made the journey to a spot I knew would be difficult.

Our path into leadership starts the same way. We make a choice to begin leading. We take the responsibility of leadership and we walk with it.

Management loves to play it safe. Systems are in place to keep the machine running effectively and efficiently.

Leaders don’t have this luxury. They’re heading into the unknown. No, wait… You’re heading into the unknown.

Risk Graffitti

Image by A Syn

Real leaders, not managers, are looking for the next breakthrough. Keeping an eye out for the next mountain to summit.

Think about major league sports. A lot of it’s played safe until it’s crunch time. Then the team leader has to make a choice.

Do they take easy score or do they go for the risky extra point?

Your leadership will require you to take risks.

Leaders head into the unknown

There’s always the risk that there are unknown unknowns.
– Nate Silver

As you move towards your goals and purpose, the road will get cloudy. Situations you didn’t foresee will arise. You won’t know what the next step will be.

It’s Time To Jump

February 20, 2013 — 17 Comments

Your leadership journey will bring you to places you’ve never imagined. Choices will be placed in front of you. And you’ll have to make decisions.

The time will come when you’ll have to decide whether or not you’ll jump.

Last summer I was able to experience my first trip whitewater rafting. It was an amazing time in West Virginia. Good friends, a great guide, and a crazy storm made the trip memorable.

And there’s one more event during the trip that made it memorable. During a stop, we were offered the chance to climb to a ledge jutting over the river. From there, we could jump.

At river level, the ledge didn’t look high. Maybe 20 feet. As I ascended the rockface the ledge seemed to grow further and further away. Once I got to the ledge, it seemed I was over 100 feet in the air.

We all want to do great works in the world. We want to make a difference that affects the lives around us. We want to be remembered.

My question is “How far are you willing to go?”

Taking The Plunge

Image by Jon Rawlinson

I know my normal answer. “Not far enough.”

I begin to step out and the doubts come flooding in.

  • What will others think of me?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if I look foolish?

All are valid concerns if I want to live a normal life. But I don’t. I want to live an extraordinary life. And I know you do as well.

If this is what we want, we must change our thoughts. We must be willing to go further.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing.”
– Helen Keller