The Importance Of Risk Taking In Leadership

All leaders have a clear vision for their lives.

They are willing to go through tough waters to achieve their vision.

However, they know that the greater their vision, the greater the focus needed, the greater the risks taken, and hopefully, the greater the reward.

Wondering how to take risks and step out your comfort zone?

The Importance Of Risk Taking In Leadership

Taking risks means stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Furthermore, risk taking is an inherent human trait and plays a major part in the life of leaders.

Risk taking may depend on the leader’s age, generation and financial background.

Risk taking is contagious. When your team sees you initiating risks and stepping out of your comfort zone, they ble will feel more comfortable doing the same.

For the past few years, risk taking has been treated like a disease.

Nowadays, taking risks is valued because it provides opportunities even though the consequences can be disastrous.

I believe that the old saying “with high risks come high rewards” is still defensible.

Taking risks is not reckless as long as they are calculated.

Why should leaders take risks?

Some people try to avoid risks and others fearlessly walk straight into it.

However, leaders are willing and obligated to take risks.

The key rewards of risk taking as a leader include longevity, meaningful experiences, increased finance, and a more motivated, loyal and trustworthy team.

People don’t take risks simply because of fear. They are generally afraid of failure, of success, of being vulnerable, being wrong, or admitting their errors and limits.

How to take calculated risks?

Risk taking can be an effective leadership strategy. To take calculated risks:

  1. Define clear goals and a vision.
  2. Gather information to estimate your risks. Do your research to unveil potential obstacles and give yourself time to find a solution.
  3. Measure your resources and the costs of your actions.
  4. Take a moment to evaluate the negative and the positive outcomes of your decisions. Study the pros and the cons to make the right decisions.
  5. Do something that scares you everyday. Get out your routine and try new activities to uncover your limits and who you truly are.
  6. Be aware of your own abilities and surround yourself with people with complementary skills.
  7. Learn to trust yourself and your decisions. It is important to listen to your gut, to distinguish your intuition from your emotions, to avoid overthinking or over-analyzing your decisions.
  8. Understand that you are your only limit and that you set your goals.
  9. Increase your emotional intelligence. Don’t let your fears make decisions for you. What ifs will stop you from taking chances.
  10. Learn from your past failures.
  11. Practice taking risks and prepare yourself for rejection. Rejection is not as bad as it seems and usually doesn’t last as long as regret. Regretting a moment or a situation is definitely worse than being rejected.
  12. Avoid spreading your self thin, examine opportunities that come your way, and learn to say no to opportunities that seem too good to be true.
  13. Test your ideas to a wise sounding board that you trust and that can be candid with you.
  14. Be reactive. Be on the lookout for possible breakthroughs or setbacks, and be ready to correct mistakes.
  15. Embrace change and always expect the unexpected.
  16. Don’t try to be perfect. In case of failure from risk-taking, practice forgiveness. and failing forward.
  17. Don’t make assumptions and keep learning.
  18. Become resilient.

Last Words Of Advice!

In life as in work, risk is inevitable just like failure is. Remember:

  • Fortune favors the bold.
  • The risk is always worth being taken and can be life-changing.
  • Don’t be too overconfident or completely eradicate fear in order to properly estimate risks.
  • Recognizing the positive outcomes of your risk taking will create momentum and gain in confidence so you can do it again.

Let me know when was the last time you have taken risks and what was your reward?

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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Kim Scott

MEET THE AUTHORKim Scott teaches leadership seminars and has been at the head of major companies.

Kim Scott is also the author of the best selling book Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean.

The Importance Of Identifying & Strengthening Your Core Leadership Values

All leaders must identify and set their core values before accepting a leadership position, before developing an organization or before joining a company culture.

Leaders with strong core values induce an ethical and healthy workplace.

However, when leaders lack character, they create conflict, mistreat employees, belittle customers, focus on results rather than build healthy relationships, allow sabotage and aggressive below the belt office politics. Subsequently, they then create a toxic environment.

Wondering how to identify and strengthen your core values?

The Importance Of Identifying and Strengthening your Core Leadership Values

What are core values?

Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down.

They are fundamental beliefs that guide you in life and at work, that drive your behavior and that gather things about you that you truly care about.

Core values are based on your culture, your systems of beliefs and what you learnt from your childhood.

In addition, core values guide leaders in any environment and in every situation.

They are principles by which leaders and organizations operate. They are transmitted to employees via the corporate culture, are shared from one generation to another.

Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down. Click To Tweet

At Journey To Leadership‘s, we believe in:

  1. Leadership. We want to lead by example, lead with character, motivate people to achieve a unique vision and teach people how to lead with integrity.
  2. Living to learn. We do not assume that we know everything, we give ourselves the opportunities to explore and to ask questions that challenge the status quo.
  3. Creativity & InnovationWe welcome change, embrace innovative ideas, love taking risks and bringing new products to make the world a better place.
  4. Purpose & Ambition. We invite people to aim high, to walk in their purpose and to stay focused.
  5. Candor. We encourage transparency, authenticity and speaking truth to power. We reward people for speaking up and for speaking the truth.
  6. Patience. We promote patience, being slow to anger and seeking understanding.
  7. Fairness. We do not discriminate, we are equal opportunity leaders, we believe in making fair decisions and treating everyone equally
  8. Diversity. We are culturally sensitive, respect diversity and believe that difference is good.

Why define your core leadership values?

Core values must be carefully chosen, based on our personal needs and wants.

Core values make life more satisfying and more meaningful, they are a lifetime commitment. Core values must help you:

Consolidating your leadership values requires hard work, determination, daily practice and self-discipline. In general, core values are hard to maintain but are worth the struggle.

How to identify your core leadership values?

Core values make life more satisfying and more meaningful, they are a lifetime commitment To identify your core leadership or organizational values:

  1. Find out how you would describe yourself.
  2. Examine if you are satisfied with the current state of your life and what you love or hate the most.
  3. Identify your strengths, weaknesses and blind spots.
  4. Think about what you would do if you were financially free and had no cares in the world.
  5. Analyze which workplace you thrive best and feel your best in.
  6. Evaluate your greatest accomplishments.
  7. Observe where and with whom you wish to spend your time.
  8. Identify what you cannot live without.
  9. Understand the lessons you have learnt from your failures.

To strengthen your core leadership values?

  1. List your core values, write them down and give examples of your core values in action. Everyone has a list of at least 5 values that they hold on to, that facilitate their responsibilities and ease their problems.
  2. Remind yourself daily of your core values through a vision board or positive affirmations.
  3. Align all your decisions with your core leadership values. When your values don’t align with your decisions, you start feeling uncomfortable, emotionally triggered and in conflict with yourself.
  4. Communicate your core values to your employees. A company without core values is a toxic environment.
  5. Put your values to the test in life, at work and within your organization. Core values often show themselves when we face adversity. If someone tells you or forces you to believe that life is unfair and you wholeheartedly rebel against that thought, then your core value is definitely fairness.
  6. Empower other people to find their own core values.

Last Words Of Advice!

Leaders must be convinced of their vision and committed to their core values.

However, some core values are harder to apply than others. They demand more effort than others. So, don’t give up!

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz gathers four “agreements” to live by to ensure a better lifestyle, a deeper understanding of life, a life in the moment.

What is an agreement?

The four agreements come from the Toltec teachings of wisdom. The goal of this book is to make each agreement a habit.

An agreement is:

  • a programming of the mind.
  • a language, a code that helps us understand each other.
  • a belief system that has domesticated us.

It represents the rules that we abide to, that we pass down from generation to generation.

unfortunately, we have not chosen the agreements that we have concluded. Most of the time, they have been chosen for us and existed longer than we have.

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The First Agreement

The first agreement is to be “impeccable with your words“. This means that you must be careful of not using words against yourself and others.

Indeed, there is power in the words that you use. Matter of fact, it is the most powerful tool at your disposition. 

You can use your words to create beauty or to wreak havoc.

“What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word”.

Purpose of the agreement

Being “impeccable with your words” helps you suppress any toxicity from your mind, free your mind from fear and doubt, and filter out negativity.

Implementing the agreement

Furthermore, words grow and take root in your mind if we are not careful. So:

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Be careful of the words that you use on yourself.
  • Do not speak against yourself.
  • Avoid gossiping and don’t believe gossip.
  • Accept and love yourself so you can demonstrate love and acceptance toward others.

The Second Agreement

The second agreement is to not “take anything personally”.

Often times, people are preoccupied with their own beliefs, feelings and opinions about themselves that they take out on others.

Even if they insult you directly, it is wise not to take their insult personally.

Purpose of the agreement

This agreement is necessary to avoid burdening yourself with people’s problem, setting “yourself up to suffer for nothing”.

Acquiring this habit will help you free yourself, keep your heart open, see people for who they really are, and be unaffected by fear.

Implementing the agreement

Understand that:

  • All opinions about you are not necessarily true.
  • Opinions about you depends on the person and on their moods.
  • We can choose what to believe and what to agree with.
  • You must trust yourself and don’t need to trust anyone else.

The Third Agreement

The third agreement consists in not making assumptions.

Undeniably, assumptions are not the truth and breeds problems.

Purpose of the agreement

The third agreement will help you build better relationships and increase your communication skills.

Implementing the agreement

To properly implement this agreement:

  • Ask for clarifications rather than making assumptions.
  • Remember that it is OK to ask questions.
  • Collect the right data about people and situations first.
  • Don’t assume that people can read your mind.
  • Ask for what you want, expect yes or no. Understand that you can say yes or no as well.

The Fourth Agreement

This fourth agreement encourages you to always “do you best“. It consolidates all previous three agreements.

Purpose of the agreement

Forming the habit of always doing your best will:

  • Save you from harsh self-judgement.
  • Increase your production.
  • Mature your self-love

Implementing the agreement

Keep in mind that:

  • Your best will fluctuate all the time. It will depend on your mood, on your energy level, on your health and on your situation.
  • you must take action without expecting any rewards. This way, you will be able to enjoy your actions better.

Review

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz provides a very powerful perspective on life. It encourages self-transformation, self-awareness, self acceptance, and the understanding of others.

I found out briefly that The Four Agreements, yet short, is thoughtful and goes straight to the point. It calls out society’s hypocrisy, fear and domestication.

Everyone I know who have read this book has felt elevated. It was therefore hard to resist reading it and I have to say that I did not regret it.

As you read, you will find that you already had the knowledge and the wisdom within you but have been holding it back. You will learn to trust yourself and set yourself free.

Favorite quote(s)

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.

Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally.

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.

Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are.

Ratings 4.5/5

Author

Don Miguel Ruiz

Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

In Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, Simon Sinek believes that every single employee is capable of becoming a leader, of being remarkable, of exercising courage and sacrifice, of investing into the company, and of finding fulfillment at work.

Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek

The General Role Of The Leader

In addition, Simon Sinek considers humans as hunters, organizations as tribes and leaders as those who put order within the tribe.

In modern days, leaders are perceived as dominant, are the ones that eat first, are the ones who make the most money, who get preferential treatment and most importantly are those who are supposed to protect. Indeed, they have more resources at their disposal and have to use it appropriately to ensure the survival of their tribe.

However, for long-lasting results, to gain the loyalty and respect of their employees, they must not consider their well-being above the well-being of the tribe. They must eat last.

It is the role of leaders of an organization to be courageous, to demonstrate empathy, to lay down the foundation for success, to show employees appreciation and to allow them to take appropriate risks.

The Circle Of Safety

The Circle Of Safety contains all the people of an organization. It is a safe space where employees feel fulfilled at work, don’t dread Monday morning, are willing to advance the company’s purpose.

It is an environment of increased commitment, fulfillment, gratitude and happiness, where employees are more relaxed, thrive, collaborate and work for each other.

In the Circle Of Safety, leaders and employees share the same values, pull their respective loads and are committed to the Circle.

Everyone feels valued by their peers, they know that their colleagues have their backs, they believe that they belong to something greater than themselves, that they can safely drive innovation, share ideas and express themselves freely.

By the same token, employees and leaders must independently weigh their decisions and ponder whether or not their decisions are beneficial to the group. It is wise to remember that working toward individualistic goals will hurt the group.

Leaders In The Circle Of Safety

Besides, leaders are the gatekeepers of the Circle. They set the standards, they decide who gets in and who stays at the door.

To create safety, leaders have to meet certain conditions and build a soothing company culture. Company culture in modern days is unnatural because they go against all natural needs, instincts, rights for safety and fulfillment.

If leaders want to create a Circle Of Safety, to establish an innovative, stable, robust, lasting, successful company, they must:

  • Understand that employees are not a means to an end and shouldn’t be exploited.
  • Increase employee cohesion and inclusion. They must no longer fear each other but must be willing to fight external challenges together. Moreover, there is power in numbers: when challenges arise, employees in the Circle Of Safety must put all their differences aside to reach a common goal.
  • Avoid placing money above people but place people above everything else.
  • Remember that they are the models for the organization. Therefore, they must define a clear set of values and beliefs for themselves and for their employees.
  • Inject empathy into the workplace culture and treat everyone fairly. This will make both employees and leaders more human, and make work more enjoyable.
  • Extend trust to earn trust. Trust also lies in the fact that leaders know when to follow the rules and when to break them in order to guarantee the safety of their employees.
  • Help people solve problems. They will in turn, help each other.
  • Listen to their employees.
  • Protect their employees internal conflicts and promote collaboration.

 

The Feasibility Of The Circle Of Safety

Making people feel safe, putting their well-being first is idealistic but impractical.

On one hand, people work out of necessity, are willing to stay in a job that they hate to provide for themselves and for their loved ones. They don’t want to selflessly commit to and invest themselves into the company. They are reluctant to put forth the time and effort because they are not in control and  might not receive the proper rewards.

On the other hand, it is quasi difficult to find organizations that genuinely care for their employees safety and well-being. Most of them tend to care more about reaching numbers and are willing to sacrifice people to get there.

The truth is most companies and leaders display poor character and induce a stressful and fearful culture. Employee disengagement, high employee turnover and health problems ensue.

Abundance and Abstraction

Finally, when leaders have everything in abundance, which is often the case today, they lose the real value of things.

As a consequence, the more their companies grow, the more they are out of touch with their employees and their consumers, the less they empathize with them. To solve this abstraction, leaders should:

  • Get to know their employees personally. Investing time and energy in them will transpire as appreciation.
  • Continually spread ideas, find people, connect with them, build real human relationships and bring them together.
  • Expand their company to 150 employees at most in order to remember everyone and to keep strong relationships.
  • Observe the real impact and results of their time and effort, alongside their employees’. This will consequently increase everybody’s quality of work.
  • Give people the time needed to trust, to find their way and place with the Circle Of Safety.

The Influence Of The Company Culture

The culture severely impacts the survival of the company. When there are no values, no principles, no particular beliefs, when the culture is based on numbers, reports and performance, the company is doomed to fail.

Moreover, leaders with poor character fabricate a bad culture that in turn breeds bad leaders. This is why, leaders are required to:

  • Rely on integrity and trust, spend time with the people they serve and shift their focus to the latter.
  • Find someone to lean on and to help them through hardships.
  • Discover their life purpose.
  • Work hard for what they have in order to value it.
  • Hold on to their responsibilities.

Review

Simon Sinek, in Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, provides an innovative leadership strategy to build a successful organization, to increase employee engagement and fulfillment.

After Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Leaders Eat Last is intended for millennials and promotes leadership excellence. To develop a successful organization, Simon Sinek encourages us to discover the reasons why we do what we do, to understand people and their needs, to go beyond having good competencies and good managerial skills.

In this great book, Sinek places people at the forefront of the company and demonstrates that building a company from the ground up takes on a whole new sense. He believes that leaders have to take care of the well-being of their employees first and their employees will take care of the rest.

Besides, he doesn’t claim to be an idealist, to believe that all workers love their jobs and that all leaders treat their employees well. He understands that most people work out of necessity.

Lastly, he analyzes our biological needs and transposes them to the modern working world. Our natural needs are powerful forces that we cannot control.

Favorite quote(s)

In our modern world, advancing our careers and trying to find happiness and fulfillment are the definition of success. But the systems inside us that guide our behavior and decisions still function as they did tens of thousands of years ago. Our primitive minds still perceive the world around us in terms of threats to our well-being or opportunities to find safety.

Being a leader is like being a parent, and the company is like a new family to join. One that will care for us like we are their own . . . in sickness and in health. And if we are successful, our people will take on our company’s name as a sign of the family to which they are loyal.

This feeling of belonging, of shared values and a deep sense of empathy, dramatically enhances trust, cooperation and problem solving.

Quite often, what’s good for one is not necessarily good for the other. Working exclusively to advance ourselves may hurt the group, while working exclusively to advance the group may come at a cost to us as individuals.

Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability. All components of trust.

Ratings 3.75/5

Author

Simon Sinek