Home»Blog»blog»Summary of Doug Schneider’s The Risk Paradox Event
Thanks to all of you who joined the discussion on risk-taking and Doug Schneider’s new book, The Risk Paradox, last Friday. We had a high interest in the topic, probably because risk plays such a pervasive and important role in all of our lives. We are hopeful that the book and the individual stories highlighted in it will help everyone be more conscious and aware of the role risk plays in your lives. The book will help improve your decisions in the moments of truth when you must choose one path or another. One of the themes in the book is “risk never fails to teach”, no matter what the outcome of a particular decision.
You can watch the video here. This a good video for you to review with your team.
To see which risk category you belong in, follow this link to take the quiz.
Below are Doug’s responses to the questions that attendees asked after the event.
Were there any individuals who would self-describe with attributes of multiple categories?
We didn’t have the interviewees self-select a risk-taker category. Rather, we developed the categories (and our other conclusions and insights) based on the results of the interviews. In other words, we let the data from the interviews drive our categorization. To categorize an interview, we focused on what actions they took in the “moments of truth” where they were making a risk-intensive decision.
What did the people who didn’t succeed feel about the risk they took but failed at?
This could be a self-selection issue (in that we interviewed people who had taken significant risk at some point in their life) but we didn’t find that much evidence that people regret (in a paralyzing way) the risks that they took which didn’t work out. Instead, to the extent that they introspected they focused on what they learned from the experience. (We summarized this in the book as Risk Never Fails to Teach). I believe the key to this is a) to focus on the learning; b) to stay action-oriented, and c) once you’ve looked at what you could have done better, to avoid over-personalizing the failure.
What are some of the things risk takers did to keep going when it’s hard?
I wish that there was a simple answer to this question. The most effective people cultivated a “sounding board” of formal and informal advisors (I did this when I spent 5 years as a CEO and a small number of informal advisors, Rob included, were very helpful. They also cultivated outside interests to get some level of perspective and life balance. Several went back to their original motivation for taking the risk – this usually led to a re-commitment/ doubling down but not always. Sometimes they decided the hill they were trying to take wasn’t the right hill. I am hopeful, for those reading the book, that the actual stories in the book will provide more insight into this question.
Wonder how the “Quiet Quitting” trend will impact the risk scenario and balance moving forward?
I think Quiet Quitting has been an issue for a long time, it’s just that we now have a catchy name for it. As a former leader and CEO, I think most organizations have people who are excelling, people who are getting the job done, people who aren’t working out, and then people who are there but not really there (quiet quitting). From an organizational view, the best thing leaders can do with the latter category is challenge them to stretch and take risks. From an individual view, after some time I think it’s best (for everyone) to decide if they are “in” or “out.” And, yes, that’s always a decision point that involves some risk.
What was the breakdown of the categories of the over 100 people you interviewed?
51 men, 51 women
Age Ranges – 30-39 (7 people), 40-49 (45), 50-59 (28), 60-69 (14), 70-79 (5), 80-89 (1)
Risk Takers by Category – Adventurers – 7, Liberators – 32, Survivors – 16, Idealists – 20, Givers – 12, Seekers – 15
Significant Life Crisis? 52 of the 102
Personal Health Crisis? 11 of the 102
Had Teenage Business? 19 of the 102
Took Huge Financial Risk? 34 of the 102
Been Divorced? 25 of the 102
Parental Conflict? 24 of the 102
Family Financial Background – 12 grew up Poor, 66 Middle Class, 24 Wealthy
This is all in Appendix B for those of you who bought the book (and thank you for that)