Sunday 9 August 2009

There are rarely rewards without first taking risks

I have often wondered why many politicians who were very successful prior to entering politics, become but mere shadows of themselves inside politics.

One of my answers to this is that they stop taking risks for fear of losing their seats!

Compromise is the result. Compromise rarely achieves anything great. Politics where there is the Government, an Opposition, and a few Independents and minor parties, like in Australia, fails to understand that success in the 21st century is about collaboration not compromise.

Co-promises rather than compromise work. And they are the result of collaboration. Effective collaboration requires risk.

Right now the world is stalled on economics, climate change, and a host of other issues where change is urgent, because we lack risk takers and are being lead by compromisers.

To get to the point of achieving a co-promise with others we must lead by example. We must take risks. We must risk having our view challenged, risk being seen as out of touch, and even clueless. We must risk being ridiculed, berated, and even abused. We must risk losing in the short term.

Risk takers know what they stand for and stand. They accept what others say as a view and don’t take anything someone else says that may seem derogatory, personally.

Risk takers know that we are responsible for our own intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions. We are not responsible for other people’s intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions, and, we are only affected by them when we choose to be.

Risk takers know that short term pain often leads to long term gain, for all.

As I have written about elsewhere, we live in three worlds. The world in here (my view), the world out there (your view) and the world we share (our view). In the scheme of things only the world we share really matters because from shared view comes a co-promise to stand together and take action for the common good.

Risk takers are innovators more than problem solvers. When we solve problems almost always that means a return to what is normal or the status quo. When we innovate on the other hand, we change what is normal.

Are you are risk taker?

One sign that you are, or are not, is whether or not you are “doing what you love in the service of people who love what you do”, a wonderful phrase from Steven Farber the author of a great book about leadership The Radical Leap.

Other signs you are a risk taker. Your willingness to:

*speak out against injustice
*go against the flow when you see a possible better way forward for all
*speak up even when no one else does
*say what you mean and mean what you say even when it is uncomfortable
*put your insights and ideas forward not worrying about how they will be received
*work hard on relationships (which also require risk) knowing that outcomes are a consequence of processes

Be remarkable
Founder Differencemakers Community
Writer and International Business Speaker on how doing good is great for business

“A life lived in fear is a life half lived.” From the film Strictly Ballroom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your post. It contributed something to me.

Not only is it an additional dose of inspiration to my day, but you introduced a couple original ideas (at least outside of what I've heard before) that fit very well with the understanding the status quo, and what will make a difference.

Compromise v. co-promising.
Solving problems v. innovating.

Keep it up!