Attempting to Eliminate Risk in Leadership

If you want to eliminate risk from leadership…

Here’s what you have to accept:

It will be expensive – You’ll have to eliminate every thing which could go wrong. That will not be cheap to accomplish.

It will be time consuming – You will have to research all scenarios and answer all questions. That will take considerable time.

It may seem impractical – Getting to zero risk may never actually happen regardless of how hard you try. Risk seems to find its way back into the equation, in my experience.

It may be unrealistic– Life is a risk. Risk is all around us. If it involves people, time or circumstances, risk seems more realistic than no risk…to me. I’m not saying it won’t, I’m just questioning how practical that really is and really whether or not that’s even leadership. Leadership by application involves risk.

I’m not trying to stop you from trying to eliminate risk in leadership. Study. Evaluate. Question. Critique. Make practical plans as much as possible. That certainly sounds like good stewardship. I try to do each of those. You can certainly keep doing so until you are comfortable the risk is eliminated. Go for it!

My personal thought, however, is that when eliminating risk is a primary motivation you may lose opportunity. Try to eliminate risk and the world and the best ideas may pass you by.

Eliminating risk certainly doesn’t mesh with my understand of faith, nor does it mesh with the passion or adventure God seems to have given to the people He created. We seem to be by nature seekers of adventure, discovery…risk.

But, if that’s your goal…to eliminate risk…don’t let me stand in your way. Zero risk on the way…right?

Bonus question: What is the biggest risk you are currently attempting?

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10 thoughts on “Attempting to Eliminate Risk in Leadership

  1. I have actually tried to get rid of all the risk. I really thought it was what I needed to do, and I truly thought i could! I, then got over my insecurities. I don't mean to be a smart aleck, but that is what it amounted to for me! I was absolutely overcome with the notion that if there were any risk, I was doing something wrong. I thought I needed to eliminate these risks in order to prove myself a good leader. I discovered I have no one to prove anything to! I sleep so much better!!
    Twitter: bryankr

  2. Ron,

    Eliminating risk would tie the leader’s hand. Leaders would cease to be innovative or catalysts for change.

    Besides a healthy amount if risk keeps life interesting, doesn’t it?

    Twitter: born_two_lead

  3. Our company is installing GPS tracking in all of our trucks next week. I took a break from the memo to read your blog. The risk of unhappy employees is not just perception; we are not "Big Brother", we do practice good business reasoning. I have researched GPS tracking for 3 years, Decided the risk is acceptable.

  4. We gave up early on eliminating risk and just focus on identifying and managing problems as they pop up. What's the old saying? if you wait for perfect weather the crops never get planted? not sure why that came to mind, but just plant the corn and spray the bugs when they show up. love your blog.

  5. Greatest risk I'm currently taking. Following what I believe is God's calling to increase my range of influence. As a Camp Director of a Christian camp and conference center, I get to speak, share and help people develop when they come to an event at camp. I am activity working to take my talents and messages "on the road" if you will.