CEO Mindset: Taking Risk in Business

Growth and comfort don’t coexist. As an executive, one major question to ask yourself is how to create an entrepreneurial, risk-taking mindset inside a large company. In order to keep up with your competition, you have to update procedures and bet on new opportunities.

The most successful companies didn’t become that way without leaders putting themselves outside of their comfort zones. In fact, with the world changing at a rapid pace, the biggest risk is not taking any risk at all.

Before you take any major steps, however, make sure your company can handle failure and loss. Look at financial projections before you commit to change and have your business strategy ready to handle the move.

By budgeting in advance to accommodate risks, it will give you a clear picture of how much you stand to lose. Even if projections show that the risk will eventually pay off, be aware that this can take a very long time. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Interestingly, in a 10 year study of high-performing CEOs, executives who considered setbacks to be failures had a 50% smaller chance of thriving.

When we are talking about leading with a risk mindset, it’s also important to discuss the importance of assembling a company that rewards its employees for generating innovative ideas. Convincing your team (and yourself for that matter) that it’s necessary to take risk instead of playing it safe can be a challenge. As CEO, it is best to support an environment where it’s okay to take risks, keeping communication open and allowing team members to make mistakes.

Regular communication ensures that everyone is working towards the same company goals and this also builds better relationships between teams and management.

In my view, experience has a lot to do with it. Over time, you learn to take risks without looking back. In the mining business in particular, it is about understanding the implications of dips in commodity prices and how to wait them out. It’s also about utilizing a combination of skills and instincts and putting them together to try to create true growth for your investors.