When we talk about Bill Gates dropping out of college to found Microsoft, or Sylvester Stallone refusing to take any offers for Rocky unless he was allowed to star or maybe even Beyonce dropping an entire album at once without prior promotion, there is one quality we all attribute to them collectively.
This quality that raised bars of success for them. Something that still makes them stand out in crowds every day. Nobody stops talking about it. Like Ever. Well, it is the admirable quality of risk-taking.
So what is risk-taking and who exactly is a risk-taker?
Mark Zuckerberg says “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”. Any act or fact of doing something that involves danger or a risk in order to achieve a goal is risk-taking. It can have a potential harm but also presents an opportunity to benefit rewardingly.
Obviously, most people just walk away in fear of the harm but the ones who stay back for the bigger picture are the people who stay back on people’s minds forever with their successes and become leaders.
How can we employ our risk-taking ability?
“Risk-taking shouldn’t be reckless, it should be highly strategic” says Don Kurz, CEO of ad agency Omelet. His company is so risk-friendly that its very name expresses a willingness to break a few eggs on the way to reaching its goals.
Any risk taken should serve a mission or a purpose. It should be a solution to an existing problem or to get a break. Any highly solution-oriented person is willing to take risks in order to display great leadership skills as well.
And why is risk-taking also about solution-orientation?
Let’s just put it this way. If Bill Gates continued to work on Microsoft while he was continuing college, wouldn’t his diverted attention and the pressure of work take a toll in actually letting him work on his idea? Gates wanted to find a solution to his problem. He needed his time, money and attention to work for something he really wanted to do. His problems required him to find a solution and the solution was a huge risk.
This, in any way, does not imply that we all leave college and risk ourselves.It is about catering to a problem and being solution-oriented in our vastness.
What does this do to us?
Risk-taking is a quality that enhances leadership. It makes you much more confident in yourself and in your ideas. Studies around the world show that people who take risks are much more content with their lives than others.
Names like Elon Musk, J.K. Rowling and Vera Wang are all examples of how beautifully risk-taking can be rewarding. So don’t overthink it. Be riskspired and bring the leader out in you that’s waiting to shine!