Leadership Nudge® 324 – Safe to take Risks

September 16, 2020by Sandy Wilmer

Leaders must create a safe environment in order for employees to feel comfortable engaging in risk-embracing behavior, like launching a new product or even sharing a dissenting opinion. This is when you call the “Connect” play. Connect is about caring what people think, caring how people feel, and caring about their personal goals.

Hey, ladies and gentlemen, I’m here in Bostwick woods, outside of Roskilde in Denmark. I have a choice. I can take this path, which is safe. It is a little bit muddy and slippery today. So a path which is safe but a little bit boring. Or I can take this path, which is a little more scary, but more interesting. 

Now, they had a study with baby mice, where they basically replicated this choice: safe and boring or interesting, but maybe a little scary. When the mother was next to the mice more of them went this way- interesting but scary. When the mother was not there, more of them went this way – safe and boring. The lesson is: you’ve got to feel safe. Your team needs to feel safe if you want them to engage in entrepreneurial risk-embracing behaviors. Safety allows people to take risks. I’m David Marquet. That’s your Leadership Nudge.

Sandy Wilmer

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