#3. Leadership 101 Series

#11. Risk

Leadership 101 Series

Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins ~ Charles Stanley

Wikipedia describes risk as a potential for loss (due to a desirable or undesirable outcome) resulting from a given action and or inaction.

Everyday cycling on the streets of London carries the risk of being knocked down by a car on the road. Yet thousands of cyclists take to the roads on a daily basis. I couldn’t. Because it carries too much of a risk for me.

Risk therefore is in the eye’s of the beholder. The risk involved in any task is related of the skills, training and experience you have in the given task.

What you considers as safe, such as being in paid employment is probably a risky venture to the business owner.

Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Think of all the benefit that would come your way if you succeed, and then take one small step at a time.

#12. Courage

You must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear ~ Martin Luther King Jnr

Courage is not an absence of fear. Courage is you acting in-spite of your fears. Fear is never going to go away so stop trying to get rid of it.

Courage is like muscles that are built up with use. Learn to act even when afraid in little things and when the big one comes, you can draw from your history the courage necessary to see you through your present situation.

Courageous leaders are comfortable with making choices despite limited information, making choices within a limited time and having the grace and humility to admit that they have got it wrong rather than stick to their guns and wreck the ship.

#13. Smart


Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. ~ Bill Gates

Smart is a difficult one to describe. How smart is smart or how dumb is dumb? The world is filled with smart people who have made stupid mistakes and not so smart people who have the wisdom to surround themselves with people smarter than they are. How smart are you?

Do you recognise your weaknesses and ensure that you have people who will complement you on your team? Are you smart enough to listen to them? They can protect you and your business from your blind spots. We all have them so you are no exception.

#14. Relational

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational. ~ Chuck Palahniuk

What would the world be without people? I certainly wouldn’t want to be the only person in a world full of trees. I would rather have human beings with their quirkiness any-day.

The leader who has no follower is obviously going for a walk. You are going to have to spend time building relationships with people, some of whom will be your colleagues, your employees and your customers. And yes they may not respond as you predicted. That’s because they are human beings with a free will which is used without rational at times.

So quite being upset with people. They are not going to be eradicated from the face of the earth.

Love people, learn to understand their needs and then spend your time adding value to their lives and filling your identified needs. They will reward you with their follower-ship, loyalty and sometimes money.

#15. Communicator

First, you must realise and accept that clear communication is a two way process. It’s not enough to speak clearly. You have to make sure you are heard and understood. ~ Lee Froschhelser

There’s no doubt in my mind that communication is one of the essential skills a leader must have. Here are a few things that can help your communication

1. Have great clarity as to what you want to say and why you want to say it.

2. Keep it simple. Avoid jargon and use everyday words. No one will be impressed with your big words if they don’t know what it means. And don’t kid yourself. They will not bother to look it up in the dictionary.

3. Say what you have to say and then listen for feed back that will give you clues as to whether you have been understood or not.

4. Remember to keep the body language in line with the message.

Do you recognise any of this qualities?