The JF Guest Author Spot
Nancy D Solomon
Although it may seem to be counterintuitive to those stepping up the leadership ladder, your managers want you to take more risks. That's right-risks. In the past eighteen years, I've yet to meet with a senior executive who's said, "Gee, I wish my talent would play it safe and keep things status quo."
What kind of risk are they talking about? And why do they encourage their people to take more of them? The word 'risk' usually implies exposure to danger and the possibility that something unwelcome or unsafe is imminent. The concerns about risk in corporate America revolve around managers wanting their talent not so much to step away from safe decisions, but to move toward innovative thinking.
These leaders are cultivating their talent's willingness and courage to drill down deep within themselves to access the confidence it takes to think differently: This next generation of leaders must trust themselves enough to take risks. These managers are successful themselves, so it's likely they hired you because of your unique skill set and they want you to use it.
The willingness to take risks is particularly critical during tough economic times. There is a cultural tendency to want to play it safe when times are uncertain. However, if we examine historical precedent, we'll find that it was those who threw the dice in an exciting and new direction who were most successful at making the changes that the times demanded.
What makes employees reluctant to take risks at work? In a word: FEAR.
You're not smart enough
You're not educated enough
You'll look stupid
You'll be wrong
You can't trust your gut instincts
Things will change. You hate change.
You fill in the blank
These things don't have to be real; they just have to be perceived that way. To be sure, there is nothing that will prevent or halt forward movement (and, therefore, risk-taking behavior) quicker than the prospect of your ego getting bruised or annihilated in the process.
What does a great manager want you to do?
Have confidence in who you are and what you do
Follow your gut instincts
Don't rely on "It's always been done that way"
Be willing to be wrong
Take the initiative
Next time you're facing a situation that requires you to step out of your safety zone, ask yourself these questions:
Is the risk perceived or real? Do the facts or evidence overwhelmingly stack against your position, or are you simply afraid of the unknown?
Are you taking this risk to prove who you are (your ego) or to demonstrate it?
Are you taking a bold stand because you know, in your bones, that this is the right course, or are you trying to prove that you're smart and competent?
Is the timing right? Sometimes your idea with be simply brilliant: Just not now.
What is the best possible outcome of taking this risk? In an ideal world, what's the outcome? What are the wins?
What's the worst possible outcome? Think disaster: Do you have a back-up plan? Will anything be beyond repair?
If you 'failed,' how would you recover? This is called Plan B. Have you fully prepared a plan for the possibility that you might not be able to go back to the way things were before you took this risk?
If you 'failed' what might you be able to learn? You've failed before. You will fail again. What wisdom have you gleaned from this event? If you got a "do over" what, if anything, would you do differently?
So what's the risk of not taking risks? When you don't take risks things stay the same, and same is NOT necessarily why you were recruited. Same may mean no new opportunities. Same may mean little growth. Same may mean the project never gets launched. Same may mean you're passed over for that promotion. Same may mean you end up feeling under utilized or devalued. Save one letter, same and safe are spelled, well, the same.
NANCY D. SOLOMON, M.A., is a relationship expert nationally known for her quick wit, her direct style, and her keen ability to help people achieve a greater vision of themselves and their world. By turning people's focus on their passions and their natural gifts and talents, Nancy helps them create powerful choices leading to fulfilling results. Through her innovative and provocative speaking, coaching, and training, Nancy has inspired thousands of individuals and groups to remove the barriers to personal and professional success and to turn their potential into performance.
Her first book is due out in stores Fall 2009. Visit Nancy 's website: www.nancydsolomon.com
Today's News: Just received a message from my good friend Craig Klein:
I thought you'd like to know that Part 2 of Double Your Sales in 2009, "Timing is Everything" has been released on our blog. Read it here.
At absolutely no cost, readers get "Double Your Sales in 2009″ first as a series of blog posts each Monday.
Then get the entire series as an e-Book at the end of February, free of charge!
If you'd like to link to this exciting series, here are the links:
Registration to receive free e-book - http://www.salesnexus.com/lp/lp-double-your-sales.php
Link to the second installment - http://sellsellsell.salesnexus.com/2009/02/02/time-is-everything-double-your-sales-in-2009-part-2/
Thank you for your support!
Over at Salesopedia, Clayton Shold is in conversation with Nancy Bleeke:
"Nancy Bleeke is face-to-face with companies and individuals daily who are out there pushing back against the recession. With her focus on helping her clients drive revenue improvements anywhere between 5 - 25% I wanted to understand what she is advocating. This podcasts looks at a number of practical tips that you can put into play without too much difficulty. Nancy shares her favorite personal suggestion of one idea that can bring results in any economy and any industry." Just click on the banner below to listen in.
Tomorrow: The "Coaching versus Traditional Development" debate continues, so be sure to join me.
Link to original post