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Job at the top - Blog

It's time to be the tiger

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Particularly in this economy, way too many of us have become “min-maxers” -- approaching our jobs at the tops of our organizations to minimize the maximum risk, to keep our powder dry for better times, to justify a “tail-between-the-legs” vs. an “on the balls of our feet, center of the ring” stance.

But nearly everyone’s competitive environment includes someone who is thinking differently. Taking ground that may not be affecting you right now, but that you wish you were taking. I’ll bet you can even name who it is in yours.

And to them, our “min-maxing” is the ultimate lay-up. A free steak dinner. “Covering up in the corner,” hoping the “tiger among lambs” continues to overlook us.

Often, we’ll discount the tigers as irrationals who don’t understand how difficult it is these days.

But look at it through their yellow eyes. Is there any more attractive time for seizing advantage than when one’s rivals are on their heels?

My advice? Get over feeling subjected to circumstances. Go back to the days when you started. And go for broke! -- again. Screw up your courage, determine the boldest moves you can afford, even if they all go wrong. Assign priorities. Let people know what’s going on. And give ‘em a rip!

When one doesn’t work, learn what you can from the experience, rest up and launch another.

This kind of boldness is the opposite of methodical planning we might do in more prosperous times. It’s a trial-and-error process. So go small, but go frequent. When one does hit, the impact is likely to be big. A positive for you, now a tiger, and a negative for the lambs.

Not only will you likely find ways to enhance, and maybe even to transform, your entire business, but enthusiasm in the ranks will also soar. If you prepare your organization for a period of experimentation, assure them that you can afford a bumpy road to better. Warn them that you’ll be asking them to try new things. And let them know that you’ve decided fighting back will feel much better than waiting for the tiger.

Dick Cross

Dick Cross

Dick Cross is a serial CEO; a professional keynote speaker; a best-selling author; founder of The Cross Partnership Ltd.; and a founding member of Alston Capital Partners. Email him at dickcross@crosspartnership.com. Follow him on Twitter, @DickCross3.

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