The weight of leadership derives from many elements when in a management position, but one traditional point of view is the leader’s expectation to take risks – either real or perceived. These expectations come from their own bosses as well as peers and employees, but the simple matter is, it is not risking the leader is undertaking, but instead the calculations of return of investment in conjunction with a well-researched plan. Blind risk is a sure recipe for failure, so getting that off your head right now is in your best interest. Instead, dedicate yourself to the following tips.

Know what you’re up against

This comes from a combination of experience and research. Before embarking on a step that others might perceive as a risk, become as familiar as you can with the situation. Know not only the basic information required for a seemingly difficult decision, but also the fine details no one else is looking into. Search for historical data on how the situation has performed in the past, and what the results were based on different variables. Get inside the element that seems risky and learn about its ins and outs – it may be a company being considered for purchasing, or a higher level executive being sought after for a position within your firm. It may be a supplier, or a seldom considered supply chain solution. No matter what it is, learn all about it before making a decision.

Be sure to benefit from others’ misconceptions

You are in the leadership position because of your experience and the faith placed in you by your superiors. This doesn’t mean they trust how lucky you are. Once a decision is made in a risky endeavour, back it up. Take accountability for the decisions whether they end up with positive or negative consequences. Having a reputation for jumping in with both feet translates to an inability to calculate risk, and this can mean a death knell for your career. Stand by decisions and rely on the documented research you had collected to make that choice. Unusual factors may have been present that no one could foresee – if that’s the case, your choices will be supported.

Taking blind risks is a sure way to lose every time, even if there are apparent short-term gains. Your professional career is at stake, just as is the financial wellbeing and reputation of your company. Take your time and do the research – your results will be rewarded.

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