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Stories, Games and Articles for EL, Issue -- Risk Taking
September 22, 2008

Risk Taking

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Training Games

Risk Taking

A Leader Needs To Be A Risk Taker

Our world would have stayed the same as it was when it was first formed if it weren't for risk takers. Man wouldn't have discovered the usefulness of fire, if all our ancestors ran away from fire or were afraid.

Our lives may not have been easier and full of technological gadgets if no one had dared to test the limits of our minds and the things around us. Let's face it; the world is a better place partly because our leaders dared to take the risk.

Below are three reasons why leaders need to be risk takers


A good leader is someone who isn't afraid to venture into the unknown. In the real world, no matter how much time you have devoted in planning an activity or an event, there will always be glitches and problems. Thus, a leader is always be ready to innovate and accept new ideas.

He or she is willing to take calculated risks to ensure the fruition of the group's objectives and to ascertain the common good. There wouldn't be steam engines, the number zero, or magnetic resonance imaging if the people behind these great successes were averse to risks.


Since the beginning of time, man has learned to conquer his surroundings through trial and error. Scientifically speaking, the human race was able to exceed other species in terms of the acquisition of knowledge because of our curiosity and our insatiable quest to discover new things.

However, people won't be able to gain knowledge if nobody dared to take risks. Therefore, if there were no bold leaders who took it upon themselves to take the risk, man wouldn't have been able to amass the wealth of knowledge that all of us are enjoying now.


The only permanent thing is change. A leader who accepts this concept is someone who knows how to take risks and step outside of his or her comfort zone. Many companies, businesses and even empires have fallen or gone bankrupt because their leaders became comfortable with the status quo.

In contrast, companies and even countries that have been led by people who didn't cringe when asked to take the risk have adapted to the changing times and have continually maintained their top position.

In order to become an extraordinary leader and leave your mark on your organization or group, don't be afraid to take calculated risks. Don't just simply jump into the unknown. You still have to use your mind to evaluate your options and assess your situation before taking risks.

Game to Identify Risk Taking Ability

Play this game on the last day of a three to four-day training.

1. Choose 4-5 participants as leaders. Give these leaders a Case (which will illustrate the concept on which you are providing the training) and tell them that they have the option of solving the case alone or in groups. The winning group/individual is the one which has the most 'quality innovative' solutions

2. The general tendency is for people to work on their own, or to choose their friends or people who think like them to work with. The risk is low and the result is always limited.

3. The debrief after the groups have presented the solutions to the case is to assess the innovativeness of the solutions, the number of them that each group has, and the quality of these solutions. Match these findings with the debrief on risk-taking as given below.

4. Also debrief the risk-taking ability of the leaders based on the following criteria

  • The number of people in their group. More the number of people the higher the risk the leader has taken
  • The relationship of the leader to his group. Are they the leader's friends? If the leader has chosen his/her friends, then s/he has tried to play safe.
  • The skills of the members and its match to the requirements of the task. The leader has tried to manage his/her risk
  • The process used to achieve the task. Did it involve everyone? If so the leader is not averse to taking the risk

5. The questions to seek answers for at the end of the game.

  • The group which has the most 'quality innovative' solutions
  • The group which has taken the highest risk in terms of the number of people in it, who have varied skills/abilities/attitudes
  • The leader who has taken the trouble to involve all the members of his/her group and how s/he did on producing quality innovative solutions

You'll find more such games - all of them brand new in my e-book "New Training Games". If you purchase the e-book, you'll also get a bonus e-book on creativity techniques.

To order your e-book and get the bonus go here. It will cost you just $7. Buy it and add the games to your training repertoire. Get a free e-book on Creativity too.

You can also order your leadership profile for just $5 at:on this page.

Thank you

Thank you all for the enthusiastic response to the last issue. I hope you like this issue as much as I liked writing it.
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