Wouldn’t it be nice, as a leader, to make decisions that carry zero leadership risk?
No risk of failing.
No risk of collapsing what we’re trying to build.
No risk of losing everything.
That sounds peaceful. Idyllic.
Here’s the challenge. No such mythical situation exists.
In leadership, there’s no such thing as decisions that carry zero risk.
I like how John Maxwell puts this: “If you mission is great, you will have to incur great risk to fulfill it. You will never get to a place where you don’t sense any risk at all. But when you accept that as fact and determine to seize a right opportunity despite the risk, you build momentum for the next opportunity that comes your way. The more opportunities you seize, the more comfortable you become with risk.”
Fear is so often the limitation to greatness.
What if it doesn’t work?
What if I’m wrong?
What if the whole thing bombs?
In leadership, there’s no such thing as decisions that carry zero risk. I’ve never had a difficult decision to make that I was 1000% sure about. But leaders lead through risk, through uncertainty, and through fear. And when we step forward through those, we might just find that it was the right decision.
Don’t let fear limit your leadership. Assess the risk; determine next steps; and have a bias for action. If you fail (we all do!), get back up. Let failure be your teacher, not your undertaker, as Dennis Waitley reminds us. Remember too that, as Zig Ziglar put it, failure is an event, not a person.
Zero risk doesn’t exist for leaders.
Learning to lead through risk is truly catalytic.