Reflection Friday: Don't hide away from taking risks in business

I've never been one to shy away from a challenge in fact many a time my wife has to reign me back because I'm going too far. We can explore the great reefs when we don't know how to climb, go surfing even when we suck at swimming and try our hand at building an entire Ikea furniture bedroom by our self even when we get really frustrated turning that stupid turnie key thing (Allen Key is the technical term).

Something happens when we leave home and enter the 'business world' those risks we take get smaller and smaller. The capacity we gave ourselves to grow get narrower and narrower because the perceived consequences are higher.

For most companies. Taking risks is not what employees do. Risk isn't manageable. Risk is dangerous. Risk is for the few executives reaching for the big chair and not for the average employee.

"If someone is always to blame, if every time something goes wrong someone has to be punished, people quickly stop taking risks. Without risks, there can't be breakthroughs." Peter Diamandis

Let me position risk for the those who may have heard the over glorified version of this. Effective risk taking for me which is visible in some of the most innovative companies follows two paths.

  • Effective risk taking is focused on the benefit of others, your customers, business and planet.
  • Effective risk taking challenges your capacity to grow, reinvigorates poor thinking and develops new skills. 

The reality is every next step to success we want, the relationship we're about to say yes too or pitch you're about to make demands us to take risk. It doesn't guarantee success, but that's not the point.

If you're perception of risk falls outside of the two areas above then you will always resist risk and make poor choices and its highly unlikely you'll see the results you want.

I've had to learn this the hard way. Its not about getting a chance but taking a chance.

Risk is emotion, art, logic and action in one leaping decision. Risk demands that you feel it, explore it, consider it, then do it.

Ask yourself these three questions

  • When was the last time you took a risk based on the thinking above?
  • What was the last risk you took and what was the result? (learning, benefit to you or others)
  • What risk have your avoided taking in the first 6 months of 2016?

Be honest, take note of your answers and look out for effective risk moments.


If you resonate with what I write Send me a LinkedIn request. If you're a key account manager, sales leader of consultant responsible for and concerned with existing customer retention and growth get connected to my customer growth email series and mailing list HERE. You can start the process of learning a new framework of thinking to growth.  

Jermaine Edwards

Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.