top of page

The Really Great Leaders have Guts

leaders are visionaries

The best leaders are the ones who take risks. They know and understand why they cannot simply do things the way they have always done them. The act of doing business changes rapidly with the development of technology, changes in human behavior, economic trends, and many more variables. An effective leader is a visionary that constantly positions the company to best anticipate the needs of their people – both employees and clients, and the organization. These leaders focus on connecting with their people to understand their needs and goals now and in the future. In this way, they can predict, with high certainty, the best paths to take and understand the needed risks involved.

visionaries are thriving post-pandemic

When businesses shut down during the pandemic, and subsequently started opening back up, the majority of companies scrambled, in frustration, to keep their doors open as they struggled to go back to normal. A large number of businesses gave up in desperation and closed up shop. A few businesses, led by visionary leadership, viewed the events as a great opportunity to create a new business model that truly takes into account the post-pandemic needs, comfort, and possibilities where their people is concerned. They knew to survive they had to create change and they knew that meant taking risks. Those businesses are thriving now.

“Those who learn and are able to take the best risks will drive the best performance. With all these things changing around you, unless you’re a risk-taker, you’re just not going to be able to capitalize on the opportunities that exist out there.” – Shellye Archambeau, former CEO of MetricStream

great leaders listen to their people

Leaders today, keep an open mind, think in terms of possibilities, and they are comfortable with trying new things – taking risks. Successful leadership means listening to people’s ideas, considering their perspectives, embracing collaboration within the organization, and stepping out of their comfort zone to implement the viable ideas – and they give credit where credit is due.

challenge the status quo

As leaders, we need to challenge the status quo. We need to take risks. We must figure this stuff out. But to do that we first have to take responsibility and quit blaming everyone and everything else for the challenges coming up. Great leaders take responsibility for the tough stuff and give the employees credit for the victories. In today’s world, taking risks is valued because it provides opportunities even though the ideas may fail. Today’s leader views risk-taking as necessary but that doesn’t mean they skip the assessment, analysis, and strategy parts of the process. Risk-taking leaders recruit the very best experts to help them evaluate the risk and then create a risk assessment plan to minimize risk and monitor performance. Taking risks is not reckless as long as the risks are calculated.

"The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that's changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks." - Mark Zuckerberg

risk-taking creates innovation

Taking risks, especially unpopular risks, creates innovation. Taking risks means doing things differently and by different, I mean not focusing on results or being #1 or building the best damn widget that ever existed. Taking risks means focusing on innovation and building better people and processes than we are building in the present because the goal is to be around in the future. One thing is for certain. The future looks different. Things and people change. Great leaders make sure they are on top of this process knowing that they must keep their organization relevant.

It means figuring out today how we are going to thrive in the business tomorrow; how we are going to develop people into the very best versions of themselves for tomorrow. If we empower and develop our people today to grow tomorrow and become outstanding leaders themselves down the road, it stands to reason that our company will be outstanding down the road.

leaders build strong organizations through risk-taking

Fear keeps most people in their comfort zone. The ironic thing is that most people are more comfortable living a life of putting out fires, sticking temporary band-aids on problems, and blaming everyone else for not being successful than becoming a visionary and taking risks. When you look at it like this, it really seems bizarre. Risk-taking efforts build strong, innovative people, creates rewarding opportunities, provides experiences and possibilities, and ensures sustainability. Can you imagine a world where everyone took responsibility, was kinder and more empathetic to each other, and focused on helping each other through difficult times? It is possible, I refuse to believe anything else.

a leader or a manager?

Managers focus on rewarding the success – reaching the monthly sales goal – making the best product today.

Leaders focus on rewarding the behavior – trying a new innovative process knowing that it will probably need some tweaking before it is successful and produces great benefits.

Many years my friend, many years....

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page