I have recently started to think about the parallels that exist between behavioral traits of investors and leaders. This is a multi-post topic that I will be covering, starting with the first trait which is on taking risks.
Leaders are often faced with challenges that require critical decisions and an entailing plan of action. Each decision can be thought of as an investment (short term or long term) in personnel, systems etc. As investment, these decisions are taken based on the general situation (market fundamentals – macro) as well as by comparing alternative solutions (sector choices). The leader has to then assess his risk appetite (volatility) to determine the solution that results in the desired outcome (investment goals).
Another aspect of risk taking, is when everyone seems to be turning away from a given situation (major sell-off) true leaders are not afraid to face the situation head-on and take decisions to remedy it (contrarian investing). It is in such times (crisis/meltdown) that true leadership capital is accrued (think about the recent market recovery).
Next time you are faced with a major decision/situation at work, think about it as an investment. Assess the risks you are willing to take and the associated result that you desire.