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To Succeed, You Need to Play with Some Degree of Abandon

Robert Kaplan argues that leaders want to promote people who are authentic, and not afraid to take risks. 

When Bode Miller was the fastest skier in the world, he seemed to be racing with reckless abandon. His all-or-nothing approach earned him Olympic and World Cup medals, as well as plenty of DNFs (Did Not Finish). And yet, there was method to this madness. The self-taught Miller employed a creative, idiosyncratic approach to alpine racing that amazed the experts. You’re not supposed to be able to ski that way!

While Miller certainly had his flaws as a competitor, his knack for creative risk-taking was legendary. And we would all be for the better if we could channel this aspect of Miller’s game, at least to some degree. 

Harvard Business School’s Robert Steven Kaplan argues in his new book, What You’re Really Meant to Do: A Roadmap for Reaching Your Unique Potential, that leaders want to promote people who are authentic, and not afraid to take risks. 

As Kaplan points out, these are intangible qualities that are often difficult to demonstrate in today’s organizational environment. “Understanding who you are is a difficult thing to do,” Kaplan says in the video below.  For instance, standing up for what you believe in can be a risky proposition, but that is precisely the quality that leaders look for. 

Do you act like an owner? Do you act like you have skin in the game? 

In the video below, Kaplan explains the intangibles that separate the good from the great. 

Watch here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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