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The Hidden Dangers of Playing It Safe

Playing it safe: a silent killer

The dangers of playing it safe appear so gradually that they rarely get noticed.

It is like a slow leak in a tire, you only notice it when you are stuck. You don't have an idea of how it happened.

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The Hidden Dangers of Playing It Safe

The Hidden Dangers of Playing It Safe

https://hbr.org/2013/10/the-hidden-dangers-of-playing-it-safe

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Playing it safe: a silent killer

The dangers of playing it safe appear so gradually that they rarely get noticed.

It is like a slow leak in a tire, you only notice it when you are stuck. You don't have an idea of how it happened.

Hanging onto old ideas

People try desperately to hang on to antiquated ways of doing business because of a false sense of security. They believe that they can maintain their old ideas indefinitely, even if all evidence shows the contrary.

Question everything

Questioning everything could help you to spot problems and create a culture of understanding and action.

What does this business look like in five years?  What are our customers worrying about today? What will concern them tomorrow? Where are we failing to communicate? Are we capitalizing on all our strengths? What opportunities are we missing?

Make it uncomfortable

People naturally want to play it safe because it feels better in the short term. 

To break through this tendency, bombard it with tough and thoughtful questions. Hold other people accountable to do the same. Then hold them accountable for strategizing and executing.

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Ask yourself what makes you happy

An opportunity should not only be viewed by the benefits it provides. 

Knowing how the opportunity will make you happy should also have an influence on your decisions.

Be willing to gamble on yourself

Moving on in life is possible if you have a good understanding and knowledge of yourself.

Believe in yourself that you are able to figure out a way forward. 

Double down

Finding a good opportunity may leave you to put everything in to make it work, and the confidence to move beyond your safety nets. 

one more idea

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Purpose of Storytelling
  • Clarifies The Vision and Mission of an Organization. Reinforces the intent of the leadership. 
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Exercise for Corporate Leaders

Consider utilizing the exercise below to help develop a positive story:

  • Identify a successful event within the organization, or, an accomplishment by its personnel.
  • Detail the actions leading up to and following the event in chronological order.
  • Develop a 5 minute and 2 minute version of the story for use when speaking with your internal leadership team and personnel.