November 6, 2018 |

Risk is Not a Bad Word

Few people I encounter embrace risk.  Let me restate that…few people I encounter want anything to do with risk.  Granted, my audience is mostly accounting and finance professionals.  But shouldn’t we be particularly attuned to risk?  Aren’t we professionally trained to evaluate and assess risk?  Accountants and finance people are (supposedly) trained to gather facts and data so that they can make informed decisions.  Virtually all decisions involve some element of risk, don’t they?  If you have done the work, gathered the facts and assessed the risk, shouldn’t that take care of all the fear?

Interestingly enough, many (and I mean many) accounting and finance professionals don’t even want to engage if risk is involved.  They figuratively raise their arm and say, “Talk to the hand.”  They don’t want to listen.  Why?  Well, if they listen, then they’re in a conundrum.  They have to do mental work.  They have to look in the mirror.  They have to gather facts and think.  They have to contemplate a decision.  That might result in some sort of change.  Ugh.  Change?  That sounds dreadful.

It goes both ways – candidates and hiring managers.  “What if the opportunity I’m calling you about is actually better than your current situation?”  “What if the individual I’m calling you about is better than one of the people on your current team?”  I can literally feel the person on the other end of the call bristle with discomfort.  The obvious, common sense response is at odds with their human nature.  They’ve been exposed.  It doesn’t feel good.

At the same time, I’m not asking for a commitment to change jobs.  I’m not asking for a commitment to fire someone and hire a better replacement.  I’m offering a value proposition for your evaluation.  It might improve your life.  But you don’t know that yet.  And you won’t…unless you embrace some risk.  The risk of listening.  And learning.  Risk is not a bad word.