This week I had the opportunity to attend an event for the Center for Women in Business, sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce here in the District. There was a wonderful conversation that took place amongst our distinguished panel of female Fortune 500 executives; the topic was “who took a chance on you?” As that topic was discussed it struck me, as entrepreneurs every day we ask our clients to take a chance on our company and here’s why it matters that we take a chance on the people we hire.
Taking a chance creates the opportunity to find something truly special
Making snap judgments is something we all have done at one time or another, but do you remember a time when you were pleasantly surprised? The best thing about taking a chance on someone is the promise of something great happening. This person may be the best strategist, the best marketer or the best leader in your company but no one knows it because no one is willing to take a chance on them. Be that leader and take a chance.
Taking a chance means taking a risk
One of the traits that surfaces again and again in leadership profiles is the willingness to take risks. The interesting thing is that risk taking extends to more than just initiating a tricky strategy or going out on a limb to win a new client. Risk taking means finding people to take a chance on; it means going out and informing yourself of your staff’s accomplishments and making sure that those accomplishments see the light of day.
Paying it forward
Do you remember all those chances you’ve received as an entrepreneur? That first big customer, that first endorsement or the meeting you could’ve never gotten by yourself? Well this is your chance to repay those favors. There is someone in your organization that needs a champion, someone to give them the kind of chances someone gave you. As we become successful it is easy to forget that we have someone to thank for our success, but by taking a chance we remember success depends on someone else’s willingness to take a chance. So be that person to someone else, your success depends on it.
Leadership means many things to many people, but it should mean growth of some kind to everyone. So be a leader and take a chance.