Monday 17th December 17:29

"Taking a Risk in Dangerous Times"

Hi everyone,

If you take even a minute's glance at the television, internet, or newspapers today, you can't escape the doom and gloom that leaps out from every screen and page. To believe the pundits, we are living in a dangerous world with disaster, catastrophe, and Armageddon around every corner. Such predictions appeal to our sense of the dramatic and no doubt increase our dependence on keeping tuned in to the doom-sayers. Such warnings remind us that there is a part of all of us that likes to feel safe and secure. It's the part that we call the Consolidator, where we feel happier putting up a protective wall, battening down the hatches, and finding a comfortable place to hide than sticking our neck up out of the parapet. But apart from moments of real threat, such an approach doesn't serve any of us well. Instead of protecting us from the outside, all that happens is that we become prisoners behind our own walls. And when we do that, we miss the opportunities that life presents.

Taking a Risk: George Shearing's Story

There is the story of the blind man who had been waiting at a busy road for some time hoping that someone would come along to guide him across to the other side. Although it was a busy road, there were moments when the traffic was light and sometimes when it was non-existent. Suddenly, the man felt a tap on his shoulder.

"Excuse me," said the tapper, "I'm blind. Would you mind guiding me across the road?"
 
The first blind man had a moment's hesitation before saying "Sure" and, waiting for what sounded like a lull in the traffic, took the arm of the second blind man and ventured out into the road with his white stick held aloft to both lanes of the road.

Step-by-step, the two men negotiated the route across the road, oblivious to the dangers of the road and eventually made it safely to the other side. The second blind man thanked the first, still unaware that his guide had also been blind and went on his way.
 
In case you're wondering, this is a true story. The first blind man was the famous jazz pianist George Shearing who was born blind in London and yet, despite this, made his way safely across the Atlantic Ocean, to become a very popular and successful arranger and composer until his death earlier this year at the age of 91. When telling the road-crossing story later in his life, he reflected, “What could I do? I took him across and it was the biggest thrill of my life."

Taking a Risk: Ignoring the Doom-Sayers

The worst thing that you can do in a time of apparent crisis is to believe the doom-sayers and miss the opportunities that are available to you and your business. By all means, calculate the risks, and don't step out when the road is busy with heavy traffic. But, pick your spot and pick your timing, and pick your guides and companions, and together with courage and a proper sense of whether the dangers are real or not, you can achieve your goals.

Eric

(c) ManageTrainLearn 2011