No Guts, No Glory!

Mary Rosenbaum | June 22nd, 2011

If you asked people around you – personal and professional friends and colleagues – would they say that risk taking was one of your attributes? Would you call yourself a risk taker? When you stand up for something you believe in, go against conventional wisdom or against “the way it’s always been done” you take a risk but you also open yourself up to a greater reward.

The status quo may be safe but safe does not always spell success and happiness. Andre Malraux wrote:

“Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not that one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.”

We fear taking risks because failing isn’t any fun. But only if we believe that failure should be avoided at all costs. Thomas Edison had a different view of what failure meant to him. This was his response to the question of how he was able to deal with so many failures: “I have not failed. I have only found 1,000 different ways that don’t work.” Each failure provided him with valuable information that enabled him to ultimately succeed.

So what’s so great about risk taking? In today’s fast moving world, innovation is critical in order to keep pace with changing tastes, views, needs, and economic conditions. Innovation and change can not occur unless you are willing to take a risk – think Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg or perhaps someone you know in your own organization or industry.

Whether it’s something on as large a scale as creating a new technology, developing a new organizational structure, or opening new markets, or something more personal like putting yourself out there for a project outside your comfort zone, applying for that position that might be a stretch, or taking courses to improve your arsenal of tools and skills, as long as it’s something you believe in, take a risk and just do it!

So shake things up and make it happen! Remember, no guts, no glory!

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru

3 Response to “No Guts, No Glory! ”

Giulietta Nardone
June 23, 2011
7:07 am

Comment :

Hi Mary,

Found you via a question we answered about linked in. Love these kinds of posts.

Yes, I am a risk-taker on many levels – I try to do new things all the time. Yet, I know it’s not the norm. We are frightened by our educational/work systems to be scared, obedient folks who do what we’re told. Otherwise, how could you get folks to sit in chairs for 12+ years? or shop in windowless malls on sunny days?

Great post … G.

Mary Rosenbaum
June 23, 2011
7:16 am

Comment :

Thanks for your comment Giulietta. Yes, I agree that we are taught to be obedient and follow the rules. And of course, our society depends on that so there is order rather than chaos. However, were it not for those fearless individuals (Martin Luther King, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, FDR, Einstein, and the list goes on and on) we would not be communicating via the internet and connecting in ways that were not even part of our imagination. Taking it down to our level, our fear of failure, of the unknown, even of achieving success, hold us back. Unless we try – we can’t succeed. Thanks again for your comment and as Nike says it so well: Just do it!

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