Risk taking is, for better words, a risky business, albeit a necessary factor in successful decision making.

Use these 5 P’s to help guide you on your path towards choosing the RIGHT risks to take.

PASSION: By arousing the strongest, most untamed parts of our nature, and stirring up the wild mustangs in our soul, our passion gives us the raw energy and wherewithal to suffer through the anguishing moments that often accompany right risk.

PURPOSE: Purpose serves to harness our passions and give them direction. Ask, “How will this risk make me a more complete person? How will this risk further my life’s purpose? How will it help me get to where I want to go?”

PRINCIPLE: Right Risks are governed by a set of values that are both essential and virtuous. As mentioned, risks are essentially decisions, and when facing a decision of consequences, principles form a set of criteria against which the risk can be judged.

PREROGATIVE: Right-risk takers view the power to choose as a privilege, and then honor it as such. By consistently making choices at a conscious level, they are better able to make superior judgment calls at an instinctual level — in fast-moving situations.

PROFIT: A Right Risk should come with a real potential for gain. Risks are, well, risky. And in exchange for assuming the potential risk of hardship, you are entitled to some real and unequivocal upside Notice, however, that Profit is the fifth “P”. It’s the criteria that should be assessed last.


Downside & probability: What could go wrong and how likely is it that it will?

Upside & probability: What could go right and how likely is it that it will?

Controllable & uncontrollable factors: What important factors can you control? What important factors are beyond your control?

Reversibility: If you make a decision and it starts to go bad, how reversible is it?

Contingency plans: What plans can you put in place upfront so you can act quickly if the decision goes south?

Early indicators: What are some early “red flag” indicators that the decision needs to be reconsidered?


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Bill Treasurer

About Bill Treasurer

Bill Treasurer is a bestselling author, leadership consultant, and creator of Q Cards. He is the founder of Giant Leap Consulting, a courage-building company, and the author of the international bestseller, Courage Goes to Work. His workshops have been taught to thousands of executives in eleven countries on five continents. For more than two decades, Bill has designed and delivered programs for emerging and experienced leaders from such organizations as NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lenovo, eBay, UBS Bank, Spanx, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to founding Giant Leap Consulting, Bill served as an executive in Accenture’s change management and human performance practice, eventually becoming the $35 billion company’s first full-time internal executive coach.

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