When you think of work do you think of safety??
Do you get the feeling that you can trust the people around you?? Do you trust the company itself??
What is happening in your work environment and company culture that makes you feel this way??
Earlier this year I was listening to an audio book on success and business. The gentleman stated, “There is no safety in a significant life. But, there is no significance in a safe life.” Those words really made me think. Obviously, a “significant” life doesn’t require us to forsake all safety and enter into “dangerous” occupations. However, it does require us to take steps towards the unknown and conquering our fears. We need to “risk” more in order to grow personally and professionally.
As the day progressed I kept asking myself, “Am I living a life of significance? Am I playing it too safe? Where do I stand in my quest for a significant life?”
The more I thought about my risk taking experiences I realized that throughout my career I was able to excel to new heights when I was in a work environment and culture that made me “feel” safe. There was no actual safety for me if my business failed, but there was a level of comfort and confidence instilled in me. I was taking 100% of the risk; however, I knew I could count on certain individuals (work environment) and my firm as a whole (company culture) to step in and help if I was failing.
What I’ve learned over the years is feeling safe allows you to work without worry. Good things happen when you trust the people around you. I found the picture inserted above from a 2012 goal that my friends and I achieved at work. It wasn’t necessarily about winning. It was knowing we had the necessary support to do so.
Unfortunately, the other side of the “risk coin” is that if we don’t perform in business we don’t get paid. If we don’t get paid then both our personal and professional worlds begin to crumble. That is the risk we must take. We suffer for not “playing it safe.” I have felt as though my world was crashing down around me at times. There are no guarantees that today will be as successful as yesterday. However, we must continue to dare and take the risk of living a life of significance. Even if we don’t take risks we can still find ourselves without a job or career. So why not try?
The reality is we don’t need a personal body guard at work; however, we simply need the feeling of safety when we walk in the door. The ability to have outside the box thinking to innovate and create better and more efficient ways of business is so important for ultimate personal and professional growth. It is necessary to thrive!
Ultimately, risk taking will never happen if we feel a lack of safety. We wouldn’t dare put our lives in the hands of the workplace around us. So how can we step up and improve the situation? Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk (click on the video below), Why good leaders make us feel safe, discusses this phenomenon. My challenge to you is to take the action steps in his video to help yourself and your fellow leaders create a work environment and company culture of safety and risk taking.
I look forward to your accelerated success in an environment of safety. Enjoy the day!
— James Schleicher