| Home | Guidelines
| Manage | Organize
| Identify | Assess |
Cause Analysis |
| Mitigate | Monitor & Control |
Risks Must be Managed
The best way to avoid risks is to management the know challenges and pitfalls with great care. The best risks are those that are known and can be managed. By managing one's risk, you have a great chance at avoiding them. So, when you are in a risky situation, don't shut your eyes and hope they will go away. Acknowledge your risks and take prudent management actions to avoid them or reduce their potential impact should they occur. Most importantly, don't be surprised by hidden risks. Keep your consciousness alert and your antennas up and constantly monitor for potential roadblocks and unanticipated events that could derail your intentions.
Manage risk, don't avoid them.
Risk is considered to be downside potential in any situation, whereas opportunity is considered the upside potential. The primary tenant of this website is that the best opportunities are found where the risks are the highest. Just as the best apples are found at the top of the tree, so the best opportunities are those that involve the most risks. Does high risk mean that one must give up the potential benefits of an opportunity?. No, it just means that those risks must be managed. Managed risks means that the downside of an opportunity is handled in such a way that it does not interfere with the quest for the benefits. All the known risks are managed via a risk mitigation plan. The unknown risks are managed by aggressively searching the future for things that could go wrong...bad assumptions, lack of know-how, unanticipated outcomes from tasks in the implementation plan, etc. Ideally, even if the risks are high, if the risks are managed, they no not impose an unacceptable price to the attempt to acquire the benefits. If you elect to go for the high risk opportunities, just make sure that you adequately manage the risks.
Tendency = More Success
Risk is not always a bad thing and to be avoided at all costs. Most people seek safety and find it within their comfort zone. The reason is obvious...safety is more comfortable and safe than taking a risk of loosing what one has. The proclivity to seek safety over risk dooms us to mediocrity. We can never rise above what we don't attempt to do. If we limit our work to the safe and ordinary, then that is the best we can hope for. We can only achieve greatness by thinking and attempting great things...which all entail risks. Remember that the choicest apples remain at the top to the apple tree, just waiting for a bold climber to fetch them. Likewise, the best opportunities lie in the corner of our life where there is the greatest risk.
Risk creates its own opportunity. So, it you don't see any obvious opportunities, it's because you are only looking within your safe zone - at the bottom branches of the apple tree where all the good apples have already been picked. Look instead to where the risks are the greatest as that is where the best opportunities are hidden in plain sight. If you want to taste the juiciest apples that life has to offer, you have to climb to the top of the tree where no one else has climbed before. By assuming risks that others won't, you will be alone with all the opportunities you can imagine.
Failure is Your Friend
Most people consider that the worst risk is that their intention fails and everything they were attempting to accomplish comes to naught. Most people realize that if they want to succeed at something of importance, there will be risks. To go forward will entail risks. Goals and opportunities of significance are usually found outside our current sphere of control and require us to step beyond our comfort zone to gain them. If our goals were easy, we wouldn't have to do much to achieve them, and thus most likely, we would have achieved them already. Most of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. What fruit remains is likely growing on the upper branches, requiring some effort to get at them. Naturally, the best fruit hangs at the very top of the tree. Typically, high goals, require high risks. If there is no chance of failure in your goal, then you are not reaching high enough.
The reason people hold back from ambitious goals is not the hard work it takes, but instead, they hold back because there is a chance that their hard work might not yield the desired results. So, it is the fear of failure that so often holds us back from going after what we want.
This is only one way to perceive failure. There is another. Failure has been given a bad reputation as if failure were fatal. Instead, failure is just a result that we label any outcome that is less than what we had hoped for. People don't drown by falling in the water...they drown by staying there. Likewise, people don't fail by not succeeding. People fail by not learning the lessons that failure provides and quitting.
Failure is just a temporary state of affairs unless you decide to make it permanent and quit. Then, failure becomes permanent. Failure is your friend when you don't succeed the first time, because failure teaches what you need to know so you can try again more successfully. Failure is nature's way to telling you the right way to do something. With the lessons that failure teaches, you can move on towards success by doing what you learned.
So, failure is your friend if you take the time to learn the lessons it teaches you. It is acceptable to fail, but it not acceptable to be a failure. In every failure, there are important life lessons that if corrected, will lead to success. Don't be deterred by failure, because each failure brings you closer to the goal you seek. Some people "fail their way to success", one failure at a time until they eliminate all the wrong ways to get to their goal.
Website last updated on 10/19/08
Copyright ©2005 Charles W. Sooter. All rights reserved.