Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen
on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
January 11, 2009
“The Biggest Risk is NOT Taking a Risk”
Fail now and then, for the surest road to failure is unbroken success.
Most business owners look straight ahead and miss all the environmental cues, instead of being risk aware.The consequence of not really “seeing” is that 10-20% of small growing businesses do not survive beyond five years.
Because entrepreneurs are action-oriented, they often spend little time and thought on self-assessment and self-awareness.Some of the landmines that leave them blindsided include:
Insular thinking – to prevent delusion of invulnerability, engage an external board of directors/advisors to keep you on track
Unrealistic optimism – 81% of all entrepreneurs believe they will be 100% successful
Anchoring – when all perceived risks are tagged to personal experience, leaving no room for contrary input, or new fix-it ideas.The past may not be a predictor of the future
Base rates – paying attention solely to something makes it more prevalent, narrowing your “seeing” field
The key to mistakes is not just avoiding them, but managing their cost.Real success is learning and growing from mistakes.
Regarding personal career navigation, keep in mind the four laws of survival to prevent being blindsided:
Law 1:It’s always about the money.Make sure you are associated with generating direct value (aka income) for the business.
Law 2:Get with the program.Savvy players learn how to leverage change, stay relevant, and always continue to work hard to improve the plan.
Law 3:Perception matters.Other people’s impressions go a long way toward determining whether they see you as an ally or a competitor, a leader or a follower, a team player or a loose cannon.
Law 4: Always have an exit strategy. No job is forever.Maintain control, have confidence, realize that change is constant, and having a plan allows you to take risks in your career to grow.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008