According to the legendary Warren Buffett, Risk Management is all about not testing the depth of water with both feet. Many times we are unmindful of the phenomenal risks –moral, emotional , physical and financial that we take because of a particular action or a set of activities. Risk Management does not for a moment mean not taking risks.
One has to understand the reward as well as the downside associated with taking a risk. Let take the example of a person moving to a new organization. He might have been a star performer in his earlier organization. He might have been head hunted and brought to the new organization. However just because he was a star performer in his earlier company, he may not be necessarily successful in the new one. We have heard horror stories of how senior executives failed to replicate their success elsewhere. This simply means that one understands the risks while moving organizations and come up with their recipe for replicating the success, keeping in mind the new environment and new organizational culture.
There are no permanent winners or losers as far as one’s career are concerned. Every successful person faces hurdles and obstacles but the ability to take risks and the tenacity to fight against all odds makes them successful. One has to take reasonable risks for career advancement. For example if a rotation to a particular function is a pre-requisite for career advancement then you have to per force get out of your comfort zone and take up the rotation.
The alternate is to put your career at risk as all growth would come to a stop. We often do not reach the heights that we are capable of. The gulf between potential and reality is extremely fascinating. All around us there are brilliant people. However some of them simply tread a mediocre path while in some cases the not so brilliant actually end up a fascinating career path. The only reason is because people try to optimize risk in line with their appetite which stunts or limits one’s ability to maximize potential.
Understanding what one is capable of is the starting point in understanding the gap. This understanding can take place only in an environment where one can look at one’s capability without fear. Fears of uncertainty, the unknown and of society are the biggest drags because potential cannot be even tested and stretched unless one steps out to take the risk of coming out of the comfort zone. Life is about taking risks, of understanding the rewards associated with a risk and moving on. Too much analysis or living in the past can take us nowhere.
This tendency becomes especially evident when the organization is undergoing financial stress as a result of economic recession. Everyone is trying to survive in the corporate jungle and it is very rarely merit or one’s achievements that determine whether a person will be part of the corporate layoff. It depends to a great extent on how well the person is networked with the ultimate decision maker who picks out the people who need to be laid off. To say that the entire process is scientific would be a big lie. Rarely is the process scientific. Some obvious choices become clearly apparent but in many cases it just becomes a matter of chance, worse than a lottery, which determines the person who will have to ultimately leave the organization. It is all about networking and a lot of good luck! Career Counselling
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