RISK TAKING: A CRUCIAL element to Career Success!

I read a study recently conducted with the most successful CEOs which asked: “What are the most critical elements of your success”? The #1 response? Taking Risks throughout their career. Timely Risks” to be more specific. The 2nd phase of the study was asking a larger group of Corporate folks “How many major risks had they taken in their career”? 19% was the result. 19%!!

So why is this # so low? I spent quite a bit of time in my career moving into many new roles outside of my original core comfort “swim lane” of Finance, so taking risks is something that very much intrigues me. Those leaps of faith created significant enjoyment for me, and stretched my capabilities beyond what I could have imagined if I stayed in my safe zone. Scary at times no doubt, but looking back I would do it all over again and actually more!!! I have a very good friend who was a musician in HS. He began his career as a HS Music teacher. He decided there was more he could do in life. He gave it up, walked away from the music teaching role, and started a journey in the world of Advertising. Today he is the Owner of a very successful Marketing Communication organization. A total risk, but worth it. It was ultimately his true destination. He could have stayed in his safe haven, but he went for it. He once told me, “Career life is fleeting, why not go for it!” So true.

Lack of security and fear of failure were the top reasons given as to why the other 81% didn’t take major risks. I’d say that the biggest risk to achieveing significant success is NOT TAKING RISKS. Just ask the CEOs! Confidence in yourself is all that is needed. Timely, and with a vision as to when and how to take those risks. It’s never too late!

One last question to ponder. If you’ve been in your same role for at least 5 years, it’s time to think hard about this. 5 years becomes 10 which becomes 20. “Career life is fleeting…..”

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