Years ago when I entered the recruiting industry, I had mentors pushing me to success. The firm I worked for exclusively placed Accounting/Financial professionals, which still is my favorite specialty. Once a month, the CEO of the company came to the office for a Friday afternoon staff meeting. Just when you are aching to end the week and party hardy, he would come in, often late, and hold this arduous staff meeting. He often evoked fear and was most often inappropriate. His behavior quickly taught me how to navigate around the gender disparity and abusiveness which was so common in the workplace in the 1980’s.
During one meeting, he was getting his point across when we were behind on goals. He looked up at the team, pointed his finger and stated “No Risk = No Reward”. It was as though a bring light went off in my head when I heard those words. No one had ever said that to me and at 24, I was very impressionable at that stage of my career. I left the meeting that evening, ready to start my weekend yet I remember his words resonating through my mind all weekend. I came into the office on Monday with a different perspective. I picked up the phone (which was our only form of communication with the customers in those days) and took a new approach. Whenever I felt butterflies in my stomach, I knew this was the moment that I had to try something new for me (taking a risk) in order to move the work on my desk to the next level of success. And that’s what I did. From that moment on, my productivity increased and I was noted from being one of the top producers on the team……. all because I took a risk and tried something new. Mind you, I am an introvert, hardly a sales person, but what drove me and continues to drive me is finding people new jobs is so fulfilling. My work has meaning.
When the day came that I was CEO, I changed the mantra that drove me. It is now Risk = Reward because I wanted the mantra to be positive rather than putting a negative word into it. I wanted to be more empowered and I wanted to empower my employees. We tend to attract what we speak!! My goal was and continues to be that when we take a risk in our careers, that is often the key to our personal success. The risks can be small throughout the day such as: picking up the phone to have “live” connection with a person (email allows us to hide out----share your personality and watch all the good stuff that comes back to you). In my field, phone contact is the quickest way to increase your success rate. Go have that conversation with a co-worker. If they are playing music too loud, for God sake, just kindly ask them to lower it. Why does everything have to be drama filled!!! If a co-worker is distracting you or there is too much conversation around you which interferes with your focus, again, set your boundaries and say you have to get back to work. Why do we all take something so simple soooooo personally. It’s not person, dude, I have to get my work done!!!
So take a risk today!! Life is lived only once and if we hold back on those little risks, we’ll never know what we are truly capable of. And we are worth seeing the best in ourselves. Success is never reached by staying the same. So give yourself the gift of risk today and just have fun with it!!!