Leading Through Risk

As people drive on the interstate, their consistent speeds usually range from 65–90 mph. Everyone finds their comfort zone and sets their speed according to the risk at hand. Most of the time you make the decision of the speed at which you drive depending on the circumstances. Maybe you are late, you are angry, or maybe you don’t have anywhere to be at all. All of these factors influence your driving and it is usually an independent decision.

Although when the risk of a ticket is much higher, such as in a construction zone, people follow others more frequently. I was driving through a construction zone on the interstate and noticed that everyone seems to go the exact same speed as the lead driver. Obviously if someone is going 10 under the speed limit in a construction zone, there is no way to pass and you are stuck. But the difference is when people go over the speed limit. I observed that even when people go 10–15 mph over the speed limit, almost everyone behind them does the exact same thing. You may be asking what my point is but I will explain.

I took this observation I made within the high risk construction zone and applied it to life. When you are a leader in a risky situation, such as the car at the front of the pack, you have the ability to create a dedicated following. Most people look to avoid risks in life, but those who take them often have the opportunity to impact a situation. If you are in a low risk situation, such as all of the cars on an interstate, it is much harder to gather a committed following. The second the risk increases, people flock to the person who is most willing to take charge of the more intimidating situation.

Some individuals take advantage of being the leader and do the correct thing, such as going 55 in the construction zone. Others often mislead vulnerable people and may increase the risk by going 70. If you have the opportunity to be a leader at any stage of your life, lead others in a positive manner. Those who lead with respect often become lifelong leaders. Take it upon yourself to realize when you’re leading a risky situation and lead as you wish to be led.