Fear. It can paralyze us all. Especially when it comes to challenging the status quo.
Changes are difficult to lead through, and risks can result in failure. This gives many leaders reason enough to avoid messing up the norm.
But the alternative is to stand still. And sometimes, this can be just as devastating.
If you are a leader who knows that staying put will cause more harm than change, here are eleven quotes from those who know something about challenging the status quo:
- Only those who will risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T. S. Eliot
- Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller
- People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. – Peter Drucker
- The biggest risk is not taking any risk…in a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. – Mark Zuckerberg
- In terms of getting people to experiment more and take more risk, there are at least three things that immediately come to mind. Number one, of course, is role-modeling it yourself. Number two is, when people take intelligent, smart risks and yet it doesn’t work out, not shooting them. And number three, being honest with yourself. – John P. Kotter
- What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it is another matter. – Peter Drucker
- Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast. – Tom Peters
- Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. – Mark Twain
- Do one thing everyday that scares you. – Eleanor Roosevelt
- Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
- A ship is always safe at the shore—but that is not what it is built for. – Albert Einstein
By the nature of their role, leaders are to guide their teams and organizations to doing what is best for all, even if it means challenging the status quo.
Sometimes it is best to stay still. But sometimes, it is best to take a thoughtful risk and make a change.