How to Take Risks and Keep it Simple

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Does your company encourage people to take risks? Do the people you lead know how to communicate with clarity? David Glass (retired Walmart CEO) and Don Soderquist (retired Walmart COO), identify pride issues that keep leaders from admitting their mistakes, trusting their employees, and communicating simple things in a clear way.

In this humorous illustration, you will see one way to kill the potential for risk taking in your organization.



Poor leaders demand that everyone else conform exactly to their own style. In this first clip, David and Don share how they encouraged risk taking and worked with humility in order to guard against complacency at Walmart.



The big ideas from this talk were:
  1. If you make a mistake, just admit it.
  2. Cultivate the mavericks.

Where do you see complacency tendencies in your organization? With the biggest of these, what is one practical, active thing you can begin in order to fight against this tendency?
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Is your organization a safe environment for someone to take risk? Is it safe for someone to admit a mistake? How can you make both of these easier to do?
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Who are your natural mavericks? What can you do to encourage these people to take risks?
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Sometimes risks will end in failure. One way that people cover their shortcomings or sooth a damaged ego is with cloudy communication. Watch the two office guys fail to find clarity.



Don and David understand that buzz words don't help anyone. Listen to them share lessons about the benefits of simplicity and learning from one's mistakes.



David spoke to a prideful tendency of some to overcomplicate things to make themselves sound more important. This is not only unproductive, but it can cause leaders to become ungrounded with the baseline elements of their business.

How does your organization complicate communication that could be simply stated?
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What is the biggest lesson you have ever learned from a mistake? Tell the story here. How has that changed your leadership?
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Use this training as a challenge to evaluate your clarity. Read through your company literature, consider your leadership's titles, and evaluate the way you train. Make a plan for simplifying at least one of these areas in the near future.


For more great content from the Soderquist Leadership, visit their website, here

Download two free chapters of Don’s book, Live, Learn, Lead, here.