All Articles Leadership How often does your organization take big risks?

How often does your organization take big risks?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How often does your organization take big risks?

  • All the time — We make a lot of big bets: 10%
  • Occasionally — We’ll take a big risk from time to times: 39%
  • Rarely — We’re generally risk-averse: 40%
  • Never — We’re extremely conservative: 11%

Even Odds. 50% are risk takers and 50% aren’t. If you’re making a lot of big bets, look back at your track record and see if they’ve paid off over the years. If you’re not making any bets at all, ask what’s holding your organization back from doing so. Conservatism can kill your business just as easily as excessive risk can. If you’re averse to risk, think about how to break big decisions down into smaller ones and make a higher number of less risky decisions. It’s an easy approach to overcoming your decision making fears. It’s a balance but taking no risk at all is perhaps the largest risk you can assume.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of  the upcoming book “The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”