What's your Problem?

How can I be more of a risk-taker at work?

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Q: I'd like to have more courage in the decisions I take. I often think up great ideas but more often than not lack the balls to go through with them, then kick myself afterwards when I see that they could have worked. I want to be more of a risk-taker but often find myself paralysed with worry. How can I change?

A: I suspect you belong to quite a sizeable group. The problem starts with imagination. If you've got enough imagination to think up great ideas, you've also got enough imagination to see all the possible pitfalls: and there'll be plenty of them.

No idea, however great, is foolproof. And anyway, having the idea in the first place is often the easiest bit: it's the grinding, obsessive perseverance in making it happen that makes or breaks most projects.

Some people are lucky enough to combine creative imagination with relentless dedication to follow-through, but they're rare. You're obviously not one of them - and I very much doubt if you'll change.

Look at many of the great historical innovations and you'll find, like human beings, that they had two parents. What you need is a partner Someone who'll make a ruthless assessment of your ideas (which you won't always enjoy); and then take hold of the good ones, brush aside all your fears of failure, and through a combination of conviction and bloody-mindedness, turn them into reality.

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