The recent discussion about Risks had my thoughts going back in time to events in my own life and how taking risks has always worked out for me. Although there are many examples, the one that stands out in my mind most these days is the following:
Many, many years ago, I had been working at a company for 5 years and had grown quite a bit during that time. What I was responsible for, the type of work I did, the folks who reported to me, etc, etc, etc. Everything had gotten larger and more complicated but it was great to have it all at my fingertips.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, an opportunity came up which would completely change my day-to-day work from the hours I kept to the responsibilities I had. It was a risky venture in that I was leaving a good “job” as a Network Manager for something that could go either way. In the end, I took the new position as a Project Officer at the new company and left my comfort behind. I am actually quite Patriotic and the idea of taking on a position that would allow me to “give back” to my country was quite alluring. That new job would only last 4 months but in that time I got to spend time working on our Navy’s ships! The thrill of being on the ships, seeing them in drydock, and so many other events (including my first trip to Victoria) was well worth the risk!
Yes, I admit to having to live through some trepidation when the contract was over before I found another job, but in the end it did come through and that new job helped me grow even more than any before it. So, all in all it worked out all right 🙂
I used to think I was a big risk-taker, but I’ve come to realize that my desire to push the boundaries was due to 2 things: First, (according to Clifton Strengthfinders) is the fact that my Top Strength is STRATEGIC. Clifton writes of this strength: “People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.” The way I look at it is this: I see the Big Picture and know where we have to go/ should position ourselves. Because of that, I make decisions that will take us closer to that endpoint. (This also touches upon that well-known Stephen Covey point from his 7 Habits book: Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind)
The Second Point is one that took me a little by surprise. During a recent conversation, someone I respected pointed out that I am actually an “Agent of Change”. Now, I’ve always believed this of my wife who has an innate gift for Process Improvements (among other things) but for me? Slowly, it began to dawn on me. I could see how the things I’ve done (like improvements in Application Support and growing an Agile Adoption methodology) did fit that bill. Who knew?! 🙂 Discovery of self is such an adventure, don’t you think? 🙂
So, as is normal at this time of year, I have been looking back over 2010 and reflecting on the challenges 2011 is going to bring. As a colleague and Professional Speaker, Guy Cabana, said recently, for 2011, it is better to live with convictions than with the excuses of 2010.
So, set your sights on the future! never give up, never surrender! maximum warp! And, keep reaching for the stars 🙂
Enjoy your end-of-year celebrations!