My mother had a saying that has echoed to me across the years. One of her favorite sayings; “Better safe than sorry”. I specifically recall this admonition concerning one temptation that was recurring to me.
My mother’s mom and dad lived next door to us when I was growing up. The only things separating the two houses were double driveways. At the top of each driveway was a garage. My grandparents’ garage had a flat roof and ours was pitched. I’m not sure of the pitch, but it was scary steep. The garages were connected by a chain link fence that bridged the short gap between them. I remember the gap as a much larger chasm, but in reality it was about 3 feet.
My mother always warned me about climbing on the garage roofs. Better safe than sorry. Better not climb up there and take any chances that you will fall and get hurt. She also let me know (with no uncertainty) that if I made the climb and fell; the pain of disobeying would be worse than being injured from the abrupt stop at the end of the fall.
But the garage rooftops were so inviting. From the top of the fence you could jump up and catch the flat part of my grandparents’ garage. Then it was easy to pull yourself up and then make the leap over to the pitched roof. You had to be careful. There was some trepidation, but leaning forward to fall onto the pitch made for a successful attempt. Not that I would know, but I can imagine.
I also imagine that the only close call would come if my brother, at the coaching of his friend, would throw a ball over the roof at the precise moment of an otherwise perfect leap. All of this conjecture, mind you. I’d never admit to it actually happening.
Great leaders have a high risk-reward threshold. They usually are higher risk takers than most. We all know experience in the best teacher. That has changed in recent years to someone else’s experience is the best teacher. Great leaders take risks so they can learn and share the lesson. They take risks knowing the experience will make them smarter and stronger, all the while helping others to learn.
Points to Ponder –
Can you remember a time when you took a risk and failed? What was the consequence? Was it worth it?
Can you remember a time when you took a risk and succeeded? What did you learn? Was it worth it?
Remembering your risks, how would you respond if someone asked you about taking risks?
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