Are You Risking It All On Risk?

“Risk” is the new “it” word [1] and while all businesses have risks and every person takes some sort of risk on a daily basis [2] the trend to justify risk taking may be going a bit too far.   We’ve seen risks cause major problems lately – JP Morgan anyone? – so why do so many supposedly smart people take such large risks? The Harvard Business Review offers some insight:

Business leadership who take unusual and unwise risks tend to share what I call a “fixed” mindset. They think they’re infallible and they want to show the world that they’re superior. This is in contrast to people with a “growth” mindset, who are more oriented to learning.   People with a fixed mindset believe that human abilities are simply givens. They are not qualities that can be developed, but rather endowments, bestowed upon some but not others. For a fixed mindset leader, one goal is paramount: to prove that you are among the lucky few who possess a massive amount of these fixed and precious abilities. Leaders with a growth mindset don’t waste time trying to act like geniuses. They believe that abilities can be developed, and so they spend their time learning and creating environments where others can learn.

Are you putting people who want to prove themselves in positions to risk too much or are you putting people who want to grow the organization? With the trend of Rock Star CEO’s, people confuse arrogance with drive. Misunderstand someone’s attitude of invincibility as confidence. Look for people who want everyone to succeed. Someone who tries to set every employee on the path to leadership and isn’t worried that they might be training their replacement [3].   Can you risk your organization to anyone else??


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