I’ve been thinking a lot about risk this week.
It started with Andrea Clarke’s excellent piece urging more of us to re-wire our risk mindset.
And it continued while catching up with Lucy Perry on Wednesday, to record our latest ‘Work It Out’ podcast.
Lucy’s taken some serious risks in her career that have led her to becoming the rule-breaker and international speaker that she is today.
She asks two key questions when taking a risk. What’s the worst that can happen? And, could anybody die?
Luckily in her line of work (like most people), the latter is not a major possibility.
Still, she has thought about these two questions many times during her career, starting just eight months in when she almost lost her leg and faced 14 surgeries following a major motorcycle accident.
With just eight months experience in advertising, and then unable to return to her previous role, she set up her own ad agency, growing it to four people and running it for twenty years.
Later, she decided to self-publish a book, Cheers To Childbirth. Again, it was a calculated risk: Lucy determined that the worst that could happen would be that she’d end up with a garage full of books, and blow thousands of dollars in the process.
The book sold out, and she’s now working on the second edition.
Later again, she decided to step away from the agency she’d been running to become CEO of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, an organisation she’d long supported as a volunteer.
“I thought, ‘What’s the worst that could happen? It would be that my little ad agency might need to be wound up and that I might get fired.
“And that’s exactly what happened!”
Still, she doesn’t regret it. “That step opened so many doors for me … I would never change that, I am so glad I took that risk and made that move.”
Lucy believes many of the risks people are afraid to take simply come down to concerns regarding what other people will think if they fail.
Worrying what other people might think seems like a pretty stupid reason to hold back on taking a chance that could transform your career.
You can Listen to our chat with Lucy below. We discuss Lucy’s risks and career from the 13 minute mark.
And ENTER our 2017 Leadership Awards! What’s the worst that can happen? Lucy was the 2015 winner of the Emerging Leader in the NFP sector category.
Watch Andrea’s video on risk below: