Blogpost writer: Jakub Wolf
How often do we plan things out in life, only for them to go a completely different way than we anticipated? Of course, then we have to start looking for solutions because otherwise the problem will never be fixed. But, how is it that some people just magically seem to always have the right answer for any situation that arises? Are they magicians? Or some kind of ritualists? Nope. They are risk takers.
Things in life almost never go smoothly and exactly as planned. But there are certain situations, where sometimes what we come up with on the spot is a lot better than what we planned. With all the stress and adrenaline running wild, our brains sometimes really save us. It is those situations that show us, how far we are willing to go for the success of our project.
Risks are a complicated thing. Many people are very comfortable with being safe and plan everything ahead and if it doesn’t work out then ‘oh well’. But what is it that makes a great leader? They are not scared of taking risks, when needed. Of course, this doesn’t mean gambling away your profits because they ‘could triple them’ but it means taking calculated risks, in situations where good leadership is necessary. That is what differentiates a good leader from a great leader.
It was T.S. Eliot, a british poet, who said “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” We all have limits, but we usually underestimate them a lot. Whether it’s out of fear or other reasons, we often don’t push ourselves enough to truly reach our limits. Risk taking is pushing. How can you know that your project won’t be even more incredible if you just make that one decision that could potentially have a negative effect?
Robert F. Kennedy said “Only those who dare greatly can ever achieve greatly”.
Leadership is a difficult term to describe. It’s a very personal thing and definitions differ greatly. In AIESEC we have defined it with 4 personality traits: being a world citizen, empowering others, being self aware and last but not least, solution oriented. The last one is vital, since working in a youth led organization can sometimes be very unpredictable, you always have to search for solutions when something doesn’t go your way and taking risks is part of that.
If you feel like you have grown as much as you can and have already become the person that you want to be, that’s fine. But know, that growth only stops when you want it to. Some of us have higher ambitions than that. Taking risks is something worth getting used to, to really test your limits. Be brave and step out of your comfort zone.
Now tell me, are you a risk taker?