Nearly every choice that you make in your life or in business involves some level of risk. Oftentimes, you are confronted with small risks that present limited potential downside. Other times, you face big risks that may offer big rewards depending on whether you take them smartly or play it safe and limit any repercussions. Successful leaders with an enviable track record don’t play by the book. They set aside their reservations and lead their team in bold, revolutionary directions.
Of course, not every risk is worth taking and it’s completely fine to be risk-averse, but taking calculated risks can bring you great outcomes. Here are 3 risks every leader should take to survive in the current, highly volatile business environment:
1. View Everything as an Opportunity to Innovate
The poor and passive leadership style that heavily relies on management-by-exception, or in other words follows the old adage ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’, is a recipe for disaster. Successful leadership entails taking risks so as to be open to innovation and making effort to improve. As a leader, you need be willing to foster a culture of innovation that encourages creativity even when everything seems to be fine. Something would have to change if you expect to see better results.
Try to look at every decision from various angles to see how things may work more efficiently. Think of ways to continually keep the customers dazzled so they’re never bored of your product (even though it may be good enough). See how you can boost profit and improve the productivity of your team members.
2. Move Forward Without Substantial Investor Support
While capital is the lifeline of any business,starting a company on a minimal budget is still not far-fetched. Be brave to the risk.
All you need to do is start small and direct your focus on the most essential components of your business. What you choose to prioritize will depend on what your business offers. Take into consideration what’s essential to keep the business running. Do you need a spectacular website of your own right now? Or would it be a better idea to sell your products on an online marketplace at first?
You’ll be surprised how thinking through these things could help bring down the initial cost to launch. Additionally, bear in mind that there is a great deal of funding sources available other than investor backing. From crowdfunding and small business loans to federal grants and low funding opportunities, there are many sources that can give you the cash you need to get started. In fact, in some cases, you could even trade your skills and products to get your hands on the resources you need.
3. Take Big Bets on People
This leadership risk is critical to good management – one of the important risks every leader should take. Leaders need to give their employees the space to work independently to create a healthier atmosphere and more productive team. Although it can be challenging to leave employees to themselves, especially if past employees were unable keep up, you need to let them use their skills. Employees won’t go above and beyond to get the job done if they don’t feel trusted. So, you need to trust your people to work autonomously.
Additionally, feedbackis crucial to help mold employees into future leaders. In order to be a great leader, you would have to give negative feedback and tell your employees the truth about where they are falling short. Giving any sort of feedback is an art but negative feedback, in particular, can be a little complicated and difficult to deliver.
It’s always a good idea to ask employees “do you mind if I give you some feedback?” before jumping in. This question smartly pivots the conversation from you “rebuking” the employee to “coaching” them. Explain exactly what is it that you’re criticizing and the implications that come from it, and then come up with a plan to help the employee improve.