Thursday, May 3, 2012

You are Not Going to Take Risk!

Sorry for the seemingly negative title. Am I trying to capitalize on it's shock value? Maybe, but what I really want to happen is that you as well as I realize that  our unwillingness to take risk could hinder us from growing, moving forward and upward.

I have been involved in an unintended social experiment these last few months. Some of my valued employees left my pond and moved on to bigger ponds and I am left with looking for  good (hopefully better) replacements and this is where I saw some patterns.

You see, my company is small and I don't offer a lot in terms of basic salary. However, I offer a lot in terms of income opportunities and if you are enterprising, hard working, strategic minded, unafraid (or capable of overcoming initial terror) and growth oriented. You can succeed here financially and professionally such that after a year or two with me, you will have doubled your market value.

But you see, working with me means going out of the typical HR mold. The work requires some familiarity with HR but it also involves a lot of selling, relationship managing, events managing, among others. My staff learn a lot of things on their own because I give them a play ground to use for playing with ideas. I try to get out of the way as much as I can. If they fail, I give them a chance to learn from it and try another way. Now if I ask you to choose between having almost complete freedom to do what you want for as long as you deliver result or be told exactly what to do which would you choose. Based on the people I interviewed, they'd choose the former rather than the latter. Come decision making time however, in choosing the job they'll take I mean, most of the people I interviewed chose a slightly high fixed salary over a potential to double or triple income. They will also choose a job that is boxed, with not a lot of opportunity for creativity because it is safer, comfortable even. Taking risk, I think is too terrifying for others that the excitement of the idea of becoming better and more successful cannot outweigh the fear. All the people I interviewed expressed genuine (so it seems) excitement when presented the opportunities here. However, when those who qualified were offered the job, they express regret that they chose a bigger salary over a bigger opportunity.

Given a chance to choose between a slow but sure ascent and an opportunity to grow exponentially but with some risk of failure, a lot of us will pick the safer option. This I think is why mediocrity is the current average.

Am I being one-sided, self serving or biased, or wrong? I don't know.  Maybe I'm just being opinionated again.

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