Lunch Lesson: With thorough planning and a healthy respect for the risks involved, we can navigate through challenges to successfully achieve our goals, dreams, and adventures. By assessing hazards and determining the likelihood and severity of the risk involved, we can make informed decisions about whether an activity is worth pursuing.
This applies in business, to our personal lives, and to our adventures.
(As usual, quotes are at the end if you’re pressed for time.)
Today’s Lunch Lesson comes from adventurer Bruce Kirkby. I hadn’t heard about him before I saw him speak at a recent home builder’s luncheon, but when I walked past him during cocktail hour, my first thoughts were, “Who is that? He seems out of place.”
[And yes, in case you got distracted by the words cocktail hour, we do have it before lunch sometimes around here.]
Bruce looked like a lone surfer standing in a room with 600 people in business suits, so he was way cooler than the rest of us. It turns out he is pretty cool – Canadian, expedition guide, writer, photographer – and he has done some amazing things.
He hosts No Opportunity Wasted on CBC. He has climbed mountains (including Everest), and crossed part of the Arabian desert by camel, Iceland by foot, and Greenland by kayak. He gave up a career in engineering for a career of adventure. Cool, eh?
Almost everything he said was applicable (albeit in different ways) to the range of people in the audience, from lenders to borrowers, and from building companies to their employees. I think this is the mark of a great speaker. What does Bruce Kirkby know about the homebuilding industry? Probably not much more than the average home owner. But what he said was absolutely relevant to his audience, and I think this would be true if he was speaking to investment professionals, athletes, or entrepreneurs; don’t avoid risk. Acknowledge it, plan for it, get over it, and don’t let it distract you from your goal.
“Risk is a fundamental element of change and growth. What is crucial is not avoiding risk, but rather understanding and managing the dangers you face.”
“We can use fear as a compass to point us in the direction of opportunity and growth.”
“Most big accidents come from human error and a series of small mistakes.”
“Ignore the bozos who tell you that your dreams are not achievable. And then go and achieve them.”