We continue to take the safe option and we don’t make a dent…
It’s time to be bold and abandon the safe option!
I was watching a video today by Seth Godin, thought leader. He’s anything but safe. He sees opportunities and moves toward solutions. He doesn’t need to have or to ask for permission.
He says that if you are working in a situation where you have no options for making decisions and want to do more, then maybe you are working in the wrong place. He also qualifies taking risks as having limits, eliminating what will damage ourselves or cause harm to our organization. He was speaking specifically to entrepreneurs, but pointed out that some principles apply to others – although, he did say that he appreciated the fact that airline pilots do not take risks.
I got the video link from his blog post, “Here, I made this,” is difficult and frightening.
As leaders, we can choose to give those whom we lead the option to function on a higher level.
Uniquely enough, I was reading today in The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age by John Heider. Chapter 36 is called Polarities, Paradoxes, and Puzzles. He talks about doing the opposite of what is seen as normal. We want success, so we play it safe, thinking that “safe” will bring results that will change things. Maybe there’s a different strategy.
Another paradigm shift is my strategy in An Agenda: The Enemy of Productivity in Meetings. We want to play it safe and have a checklist of things to talk about, at the expense of getting meaningful results by having participants solve problems and use their best thinking skills. We think we must have the answers. Not true. Give others the chance to engage their passion.
Next, I picked up George Barna’s book, Master Leaders: Revealing Conversations with 30 Leadership Greats. He has a chapter on hiring. As I read this chapter, I thought that we hire people who are safe. We hire people who are like us and think like us. We hire people for their skills and experience, without regard to how they will impact the team, the culture, or the organization. Being safe doesn’t mean that you don’t take some risks, however, it also doesn’t mean that you want people who are unsafe to the business. There is a lot of room between those two polarities.
What’s the point?
Think for yourself. Get input. Ask good questions. Let others function at a high level and solve problems, initiate strategies, and create programs. Let them look good. Everyone wins.
How safe is it to step out of your comfort zone? It’s not risky if you think within the context of the Transformational Leadership system.
Creative and structured. Can you do it? Computer programmers and music composers do it as a normal function.
Plan, evaluate, revise, recommit…
Can you step out of your comfort zone now?
The Transformational Leadership Strategist
(c) 2013 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.