Executive Development January 9, 2020

Salon Highlights: The Rewards of Risk-Taking

By The Athena Alliance

Being risk-averse can hold you back in your career. While we celebrate and amplify our successes, failure often occurs behind closed doors. Athena member Gavriella Schuster led members in a recent virtual salon about the power of risk-taking—and how that translates to greater success in your personal and professional life. 

Read our key takeaways below. Members can view the full recording in the Resource Library.

  1. It doesn’t have to be big to feel risky. You likely take small risks every day. Diving into a difficult conversation, doing something for the first time, apologizing sincerely when you’ve wronged someone (large or small) all include an element of risk. Analyze those small moments of risk to build your own framework for risk-taking. 
  2. Reframe risk as an opportunity. Ask yourself, “What is the opportunity ahead of me? What do I want to learn? How do I pursue it?” Think through the worst-case scenario. What happens if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality?
  3. When you’re considering making a decision that feels risky, think through your options. Gavriella bases her own risky decisions on three criteria: whether she can learn something new, if it uses at least one skill she already possesses, and if it “scares the heck out of me. If it has all those components, I know it’s probably the right thing for me,” she said.
  4. As a leader, create an environment where failure is an option. You can always course-correct. Set clear measurements for success to you can recognize immediately when you are starting to fail. Give people space to take bold action, then help them evaluate along the way if they’re getting off-track.

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