"If you can't afford to take a risk, then you can't afford to compete." (Lee Iacocca, former Chrysler chairman)
If you want to succeed in the business world and be able to compete better, you have to go faster. This we all know. And if you want to go faster – you have to take risks. But you have to take risks cautiously; this is what is known as risk management. You go out and dare, and take the risk, only after making sure that if something goes wrong – you will be able to handle it.
If you’ve read some of my blog posts you probably know that I am hooked on cycling. I love the speed, the sense of freedom, the challenges, pushing you to the limit over and over again. And I also find great similarities between high tech management and cycling. Obviously, in cycling, if you want to compete better you have to go faster. Going faster on the bike requires strength and… you guessed it: taking risks. I learned this lesson last week.
We were doing another technique session. This time I learned how to brake properly on the bike. In order to be able to brake properly, without sliding and falling, you have to think about your body posture, apply your rear brake and front brake in perfect timing, and practice it over and over again, until you get it right.
Much to my surprise, the next time I had to go downhill, I went much faster than usual. Why? Because this time I dared taking the risk, after all, I knew that if something went wrong – I would be able to handle it. I would be able to brake real fast, without losing control of the bike.
Once again (you can read about my previous experience here: Want to Go Faster? Find Your Weakest Link), I discovered that the same rules apply to my favorite hobby and to the high tech world: Want to go faster? Do proper risk management.
And while I am playing with quotes, here is another one of my favorite quotes that applies to both bike races and high tech management:
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." (Robert F. Kennedy)
Think about this the next time you are about to take a risk. I sure will.