Courage and Risk Taking

Not every leader who makes risky decisions is a courageous leader. Many people take risks because they lack a basic understanding of all the variables related to their choice. They could be motivated by pressures to complete a project within certain time constraints. Or worse, they could just be egoists who are shortsighted due to their own impatience. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they fail. But in their own eyes, the successes always overshadow the failures.

A leader uses courage when they are aware of the risks, aware of the consequences, and make a decision to take action with full knowledge of the dangers involved. Here is how to be the courageous leader:

Know the Risk/Reward
Carefully weigh the benefits of success against the costs of failure in advance.

Rely on Input from Others
Have trusted people who can give you objective analysis of the risks as well as your proposed choices. Their neutral eye can see details you may overlook. No good leader believes they are the best at everything all the time.

Measure Success by the Journey
Achieving the end goal should not be your sole focus. You stack up small wins each step along the way. Create small goals that build upon each other day to day.

Be Willing to Change Course
Don’t be afraid to reassess and modify your small goals and even your final goal. You must be able to adapt to changes. Needs evolve. How you do things must also evolve.

Always be Accountable
A courageous leader knows they can make mistakes. Just as you take credit for success, be responsible for failure. You cannot grow as a leader unless you learn from mistakes, and that starts with owning those mistakes.

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