In one of our recent sessions sorting through some complex market expansion ideas together, a CEO client leaned back in his chair and sighed, "I may not be thinking big enough."
Because I'm not your typical coach, I replied, "I agree."
I paused a few moments and knowing this executive reveres Fred Smith, FedEx founder, and remembering the story of when he bet his last $5,000 in Vegas to keep the company afloat, I smiled and nudged, "I think it's time you play some blackjack."
Pressure in business is a constant and can erode the vigor of even the bravest leaders. Playing it safe, especially when things are good, can become an enticing comfort zone. Why take the risk and diversify into a new market or launch a new product or service when things are going so well?
For other professionals, the dilemma can be about leaving a solid, reliable job with a predictable future for a new role filled with excitement, lots of potential and many unknowns. Do you take the risk? Often, an even more important question to ask is what happens if you don't?
Thinking big is thematic across outstanding leaders of all stripes - business, politics, military, academia, etc. - and most of them are viewed as fearless, undaunted. They suffer losses, they miscalculate from time to time, but the final tally is many more wins, some of them are even history-making wins.
After all, fortune truly does favor the bold.