October 02, 2009

Risk/Reward: Striking a Balance

"There is nothing more difficult than to take the lead on the introduction of a new order of things."

Niccolo Machiavelli

16th century Italian Philosopher

In the Army we used to say, never volunteer to take the point.

But if no one does, how do things move ahead? And while those out front may be the first to fall, are they not also the first to arrive if they don't?

Another example of the need to balance risk/reward.

How do you do that?


  1. I doubt most managers ever think about whether or not they should attempt to balance risk and reward. They probably just manage based on however conservative or adventurous they are by nature.

  2. If you've been in the Army you undoubtedly know that walking point is a good way to get killed.

    Few individuals can afford to put themselves out front, either because they don't have the talent to lead, or do, but are in a organization that does not appreciate the individual.

    Either way, calling attention to them self is not a good strategy for getting ahead.