2 of 5 Calculated Risk — “It’s Too Risky”
Calculated risk, “it’s too risky”
“Close only counts in horseshoes.”
It’s not enough to get 90% through something and quit.
“I almost finished baking the cake, I took it out 5 minutes early.”
“I almost ran a marathon, I made it 26 miles.”
“I almost graduated, I was one course short.”
Okay. So why are you talking about it?
You didn’t do it.
Why speak about an unfinished task?
Did you hit an obstacle you couldn’t overcome? Do you need help? This is where a support network comes into play.
It’s important that we are able to prioritize risk management and identify what areas we want to focus on — whether one within our domain or outside of it.
There are two aspects of calculated risk that I want to focus on:
1. The aspect that you can control
2. The aspect that is dependent on others
Controlling Calculated Risk
We can make choices every day that push us. There is going to be some level of risk to every single thing that we do in our lives — and there’s risk to doing nothing also.
Think about it. When you drive a car you make tons of choices that carry risk.
Perhaps you are driving from Orlando to Miami. Now, that’s about a 5 hour drive if you take the freeway. But, you could also take the Turnpike, which is a freeway too, but a toll road. That route might be just under 5 hours.
But there’s a risk associated with this decision — perhaps your passengers will be upset if you aren’t driving close to the coastline.
There’s another option too, of course. You could just as easily take the scenic route and take side roads. It might add an hour or two but you would have lower speed limits, does that increase the safety?
Then you could fly, take a bus, a train, bike, hitchhike, walk, or even not go at all.
There are innumerable methods of going from one location to another — but this is 100% in our control.
Let’s take a moment to think about what’s not in our control.
Depending on Others is Risky — right?
Now what about the other side of the coin?
Keeping the same type of example here, perhaps it’s an early morning drive and you’d much prefer not having to be behind the wheel. There could be a friend of yours that would willingly drive the car from Orlando to Miami.
But, at this point, you must rely on them to actually be awake and ready to go before the time you need to leave.
Along with that, you must also rely on them to drive safely enough to arrive at the destination.
There are many factors that go into this but, again, they are mostly out of your control once you make a decision and release that power and responsibility to someone else.
Driving Out of Control
We can often try to do little things to push the limits — to see how much risk we can handle.
Maintaining the analogy of driving, sometimes you might have the inclination to look at the gaps between vehicles and estimate their speeds. Perhaps car 1 is traveling 80mph and car 2 is going 83mph, to pass them both in the distance you have, perhaps you need at least 92mph. That’s a calculated risk.
Estimate wrong and you’ll need to practice some type of disaster avoidance technique. It comes back to which risk you’d like to maintain and at what level.
There are many applications of something similar. If you’re a mid-level manager and your boss assigns you a task that you know you can’t get done this week, do you keep it for yourself or give it away through delegation? Perhaps you implement a team approach.
Give it away through delegation too many times and:
1. Your boss may begin to question your competence
2. Your team may become resentful and quit
There are always decisions that we can make that will determine the end result, it’s up to us to make them.
“Sometimes detours are to be appreciated; every time detours are to be expected.” — Harrison Wendland