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2 February, 2011 / Karl Maier

Can One Lead Without Taking Risks?

Can one lead without risk?

Can one even grow without risk? People want to look good to the boss.  They do no want to be the bearer of bad news.  They want to have positive interactions with their co-workers.  These are good things to do.  However,  when working in any group, there are situations where helping someone requires a risk.

One time I saw a situation where, in order to help a co-worker, a friend faced a choice: Try to get someone else to take the risk or take the risk themselves?  While there is no sense making rash decisions, there are times to take calculated risks.  Even calculated risks take courage.

In the end, my friend had the courage, decided to take the risk, talk to the decision maker and get an exception to the rules to help their co-worker.  It turned out to be easier than they thought to get approval for their request and the team came out ahead.

The other challenge was the culture made that decision feel like a risk.  Building trust on common values might have reduced the fear.

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