HOW TO TAKE RISKS
A lot of the time when you hear stories of amazingly successful people, the one thing that you often realize is their total disregard or inability to see or be mindful of the limitations that surround them – be it actual or self-imposed. The thing that limits us in our ability to spread our wings and fly when it comes to our work, life and business is our ability to see the limitations around us and be too cautious or our inability to risk it all and press on despite the limitations that we see. A leader must have the ability to extend beyond their limitations in their mental state, state of energy, ability to persuade others and be productive. However, the bottom line to achieving success at work is to be in alignment with the will to take risk.
If you are in alignment with caution, you stay behind the walls and are limited in being imaginative, wild and free. You are unable to release yourself and your thoughts and you become more of a manager and less of a leader. Being cautious puts you in a position of fear. Cautious people always question whether their actions and decisions are right or not. This is limiting to experimentation that brings about the innovation that comes with leadership.
Being careful however is not the same as being cautious. For example, if you had to make a big speech, a cautious person may come across as worried and anxious just by the way they stood, entered the room or even spoke. They may forget to go over their speech and consequently use a lot of fillers when they are speaking.
On the other hand, a careful person would iron their clothes twice, go over their speech 20 times just to make sure it reads properly and double check their facts. They would also arrive 30 minutes early. Being careful is an action that does not limit you and make you afraid. It simply allows you to look at limitations in the context of research – using facts and information to make decisions rather than being handcuffed by the fear of the possibility of being wrong, incompetent or unable.
One of the major differences between people who choose caution and those who choose the risk of high performance is intentionally pushing beyond standard norms with a vision and prevailing. When you choose to align with the risk of high performance, it is imperative that you know what you want out of life. Only then would you be able to understand the amount of groundwork and pains to achieve whatever goal it is you want. This process also requires a sharp sense of self-awareness, a state of cognizance of your personality, your thoughts, your beliefs and your emotions, including your strengths and your weaknesses. High performance crosses the borders of comfort and pushes one into the zone of discomfort, propelling you to master the things you are not so good at and driving you to take a step towards overcoming your fears and challenges. Being self-aware is more of a toolset than simply a notion.
Oscar-Claude Monet is a classic example of a great painter who chose the risk of high performance.He was the founder and most consistent painter of the French impressionist style, which was not very popular to begin with but he intentionally pushed against the standard norms and practiced his style, learned from his mistakes and never held back.
Being a too-cautious leader on the other hand may cripple you as a leader, paralyze the people who follow you and eventually destroy your company. Being too cautious puts you in the category of the ‘had I known then …’ people who only realize that if they had pushed on a little further and taken that risk it would have yielded so much profit. They tend to manage resources rather than take radical steps to increase resources. Being too cautious makes you predictable which is a danger for anyone in business.
For a person to be successful in their love, life and labour, there is no avoiding risk because it allows you to be innovative and therefore a pioneer at whatever you do. Taking the risk of high performance simply means that you see the limitation, but rather than deify it, you think about shaping it in order to get ahead. It means having the clarity of your vision so well defined that you can think bigger and plan to take steps that are ‘outside the box’ for growth in leaps and bounds. This is what is known as innovation, which is often viewed as risk. If you can bridge the gap between caution and risk, crack the walls and let your light shine through. “For entrepreneurs, risk taking is a necessity of the job. After all, we are never quite positive that things are going to work out the way we envision. We make choices daily which affect our business, and we can never be absolutely sure that we are making the right ones. Knowing which risks to take, and how to take them, can be extremely helpful in stacking the odds in your favor. While risks are unavoidable, approaching them strategically can be the best way to decrease your parachute’s chances of failing, so to speak, and to produce measurable results that you would never have achieved had you avoided the risk in the first place.” Unsworth, 2017.
TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE AND SHOW UP WITH ENERGY
When taking up challenging tasks, you are faced with both physical and emotional risks but remember that there is no way to avoid those hazards. Do not be afraid to venture into the unknown. One of the key steps to take on the journey of high performance is to position yourself in the challenging situations. Show up with enough energy to cause not only a stirring but also a movement. There is no way to avoid the glitches and problems that come with starting a movement so do it anyway and with all the energy you can muster. Consequently, be flexible enough while also being ready to continually innovate and explore new ideas. You can and should intentionally get comfortable with being uncomfortable and mentally push beyond your regular thinking spaces.
Another key step to take in this journey is to make yourself relevant. Be connected to the grander vision. By so doing, it is easier to have clarity on why you are in whatever position you are in. Once your vision is clear, you can take the necessary steps for results. Results are about growth. Productive people cause growth wherever they go and in whatever they do. Try out new things for new results. Since the beginning of time, man has conquered his surroundings through trial and error and we have become all the better for it. Look at being an effective team player and a leader who leads to shape events rather than just react to them. Be clear and precise in your communication and speak to influence. Whoever you are and whatever you do should be obvious in the traits you carry and in the work you deliver.
Many people in business and work usually tend to be consumed by what they do such that they miss the opportunities around them. Do not get comfortable in the routine you have developed. Being well planned and organized is a plus when it comes to the world of corporate. However, spontaneity is a powerful force and an exciting mindset that can help you take risks. The only permanent thing is change. A leader who accepts this concept is someone who knows how to take risks and step outside of his or her comfort zone. Many companies, businesses and even empires have fallen or gone bankrupt because their leaders became comfortable with the routine. Pay attention to the needs of others and help them find solutions. Read wide and be willing to join conversations that are outside the scope of your interests. The more you learn, the more aware you will become of the dynamic variety of businesses that require your competence and that can challenge you.
For any journey you are on, it is essential to have someone who has achieved whatever goal you want to achieve to mentor you and guide you. When you have someone who cares about you pushing you to do the things you have to do, you have a better chance of getting them done. Surround yourself with people who strive for progress and who press to be a better version of themselves in everything they do. This way, you will be reminded daily of purpose and stay awake to do what needs to be done. If you do not cringe when asked to take on risk, you can adapt to the changing times, meet the needs of the needs of the times and continually be relevant. In order to become an extraordinary leader and reach your pinnacle of power, it might be time to take the risk of high performance.
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.
She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and @dzigbordi across all social media platforms.