Friday, February 14, 2014

Taking Responsible Risk

Responsible risk—the phrase almost seems like an oxymoron.  How is it possible to be both responsible and still take a risk? This seems like “a disconnect” to us. Our behavior tends to fall in one of two categories:  “at risk” or “safe.”  Some of us are so “risk adverse” that even when opportunity is knocking on our door we can’t answer. 

Let’s think about some people who have taken responsible risks.  Certainly Steve Jobs did.  He knew that he wanted to combine form and function.  He knew that the sleekness and beauty of his highly functional products was as important as the work that those pieces of equipment could do.  He made downloading music simple.  He improved on a PDA with the smart phone, and he captured the intuitiveness within people with his touch screens and easy-to-use products. 

Where would we be without Facebook?  What if Mark Zuckerberg had not taken a responsible risk and figured out how to connect students at a university.  He continues to take these responsible risks and works to make Facebook safe for everyone.  And then there is Reed Hastings who got together with several of his friends to create Netflix when he was charged a late fee on a video rental return.  And then, much to the surprise of everyone, he abandoned his business model (you remember, red envelopes in the mail) and figured out how to bring you movies through web-based services. 

All of these things were risky, but because they had thought things through, investigated and tried things out, the risks they took were responsible ones.  Learning—stepping outside of your comfort zones—requires youth and adults to take responsible risk.  In this way they stand to gain amazing success.  Responsible risk is the ultimate “I intend” level of initiative which says to the world, this is what I intend to do and then sets about to make it happen.  Certainly when you take responsible risk you are not guaranteed success—but you are exercising your entrepreneurial spirit and your chance of success is increased.

If you are interested in becoming part of a company who has been engaged in taking responsible risks for the past few years, go to our website at and click on the “Start Here” icon and find out how you can become part of the team.

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