Get Joey's free weekly beBetter Leadership blog:

beBetter Blog

Proactive Risk-Taking Increases Opportunity

By Joey Havens

Share this post:

CeCe and I have just landed in Charlotte, grabbed our rental car, and are headed towards Highlands, NC, which is a little more than a 3-hour drive. My Waze app tells us the interstate is SLOW in several places and as we look around, we are traveling about 20 MPH right now. So, I pull up an alternative route. It’s longer with many twists and turns, but it might get us there 20 to 30 minutes sooner based on traffic flow.

What do you think, CeCe? Do you want to risk taking this alternate route not knowing the road conditions? Or do we want to stay the course on the main interstate which has lots of road work?

“Let’s take the alternate route. One traffic accident on this interstate will put us in gridlock and we may get to see some pretty countryside before dark as we drive over.”

Bingo! I love the way CeCe thinks. Let’s take some risks because we have as much or more risk if we stay with the interstate. But, we also have the opportunity to see some new things.

I’ve written several times specifically on the CPA profession, but this really applies to most professional service firms — we are trying to drive our firms with strategies based on incremental change. This is also applicable to our careers. We are attempting to reduce our risk by staying on the course where it’s evident traffic is slowing down and with this rain of constant change, there’s a big risk of gridlock at some point.

Let’s take CeCe’s approach and proactively take more risks now. There’s risk either way, so why not pursue the route with greater opportunity to see some new things. What opportunities take us in a different direction that we are hesitant to consider or go? Of course, not all of these options are right for us and some might not provide the risk/reward to warrant a change in direction. However, there’s too much change and disruption to ignore the fact we have some big opportunities in front of us if we will step up and take some risks now.

CeCe, which way do I turn next?