A few weeks back, I wrote about assessing risk, and was intrigued by responses that expressed concern about balancing the traditional acceptance of reasonable business risk with what some described as “the current disproportionate focus on personal safety.”
We know that progress involves risk; nothing significant is accomplished without it. Included in the evaluation of acceptable risk is preserving, to the best of our ability, the well-being of those asked to undertake it. We make this assessment every day – in business and in life. And just as there’s no progress without risk, there’s also no means to provide absolute protection.
Perhaps the following anonymous message can help clarify the worth of risk in our professional and personal lives, and how we might judge its impact on our safety. Having that assessment in mind can then foster a discussion to define acceptable boundaries for risk, return and safety.
“To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or live.Bound by their attitudes, they forfeit their freedom, relying on others to save them.
Only a person who risks is free.”
~ Author Unknown