Make Great Decisions While Facing Risk

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Get your copy of the book, Shape the Future, Lead Like a Pro

“I’m concerned that I’m backing away from making the right decision–because I’m backing away from risk,” my client, Henry, said.

“Here’s something that can help: You can have a strategy for making a great decision while facing risk,” I replied.

I then gave him information that I placed into my new book.

Here’s an Excerpt from my book: Shape the Future, Lead Like a Pro: 3 Skills Every Great Leader Needs to Succeed [click here to look inside the book].

My intuition gave me certain questions to help me ascertain if something is what I call the “Right Risk.”

  • Will I grow?
  • Will I learn?
  • Will I make new alliances?
  • Can I avoid “losing the store”?
  • Can I make money all the while?
  • Does my heartfelt intuition call me to go forth in this direction?

Now, I’ll talk a bit about each question and add some wise council from Walt Disney.

1) Will I grow? Will I learn?

I’ve written over 2 million words. Over the years, I have been working to improve in the craft of writing—both nonfiction and fiction. I don’t get stuck like I did several years ago. I’ve learned how to jump in and get writing even when I don’t feel like. Writing has become like dancing to me: You stretch, you learn the steps and then you have moments of real grace.

Many of us writers learn to revise and revise.

“Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done right.” – Walt Disney

 2) Will I make new alliances?

Many times, we make the biggest strides forward when we team up or at least get some coaching. This is one of the reasons why I find so much meaning as the Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach. I help my clients learn things faster, get unstuck and streamline their process to reach higher levels of success and fulfillment.

My phrase is: Alliances make advances.

I’ve hired more than ten editors. I’ve learned from each one. Often, we go farther faster when we team up with effective people.

For example: In the early years, Ub Iwerks drew Mickey Mouse for the first animated Disney films. Without Ub’s contribution, Mickey would not have looked nor moved the way he did. This is an example of the power of alliances: Walt Disney’s story sense and Ub’s design/animation sense.

Later, Ub left the Disney Company to head his own studio. This bothered Walt a lot. Still, it’s said that of all the telegrams that arrived to celebrate the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt kept only one telegram—the one from Ub.

Years later, Ub returned to call upon Walt. Ub wanted a job, and Walt gave him the facilities so Ub could experiment with some technical processes. One of Ub’s advances made it possible to efficiently make the feature film, 101 Dalmatians.

Walt had a habit: He would ask the team members to “plus” [add to/improve] each scene of a film.

Now it’s your turn.

How can you team up with effective people?

What gaps in your knowledge or resources do you need shored up by working with others?

Write down notes about how you can gain team members or collaborate with others.

3) Can I avoid “losing the store”?

“Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn how to walk.” – Walt Disney

My point is: Build in a buffer zone so you avoid “losing the store.” By this I mean, be careful about a budget and the use of resources. If possible, avoid spending too much on a project.

Some people note that in the same year James Cameron spent $200 million on Titanic, Steven Spielberg spent $63 million on Jurassic Park.

We realize that Titanic called for more expenditures. They built a replica of the great ship, for example.

Still, Steven Spielberg is a master of choosing what to place in a movie and what to leave out.

For example, a river scene with attacking pterodactyls was dropped from Jurassic Park (considered too expensive) and only revived for Jurassic Park III.

“The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.” – Walt Disney

To avoid quitting, it can be helpful to retain some money to keep going.

Be careful of budgets of time, money and other resources.

4) Can I make money all the while?

When the Walt Disney Company opens a new theme park they start with a few rides. Then over the years they add more attractions.

“Disneyland is like a piece of clay: If there is something I don’t like, I’m not stuck with it. I can reshape and revamp.” – Walt Disney

At the Disneyland Resort, when California Adventure Park opened several things didn’t go as planned. In the first year 2001, only 5 million visitors attended. To give perspective to that, in that same year Disneyland saw 12.3 million visitors. In response, the Disney team lowered ticket prices.

How bad were things? The park only had about 5,000 to 9,000 visitors on weekdays although it was built to have a capacity of 33,000.

Okay. That was a rocky start. Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a multi-year revision of the park. It had cost $600 million to build California Adventure Park. The Disney team would further invest $1.1 billion to revise and remodel the park. Let’s remember the idea “make money all the while.” California Adventure has been open and earning income across the years.

One detail that captures my interest is that the entrance area was changed to a representation of Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney moved there in the 1920s. What a great idea! This brings in the element of magical, nostalgia energy similar to Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A.

Find ways to bring something to the marketplace and keep improving the product in subsequent versions.

5) Does my heartfelt intuition call me to go forth in this direction?

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.  And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.” – Walt Disney

A number of people have asked me, “How did you write 45 books, Tom?”

I reply, “I was called to each one. I wanted to go on the journey of writing each particular book.”

“You reach a point where you don’t work for money.”  – Walt Disney

Walt Disney emphasized: “Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.”

Walt had been called to create Disneyland:

“Disneyland really began when my two daughters were very young. Saturday was always ‘Daddy’s Day’ and I would take them to the merry-go-round and sit on a bench eating peanuts, while they rode. And sitting there alone, I felt that something should be built, some kind of family park where parents and children could have fun together.” – Walt Disney

So, my friend, I now invite you to pause and ask yourself: “Does my heartfelt intuition call me to go forth in this direction?

My heart has called me to direct feature films, create graphic novels, write and sing songs as part of a band, teach MBA students at Stanford University, write 45 books—and more.

I’ve answered the call again and again.

What does your heart call you to do?

Yes—there may be years in which you do a “rent job” to support yourself and race home and do your heartfelt work.

We, who adopt the plan of “Whatever it takes,” step forward without regrets.

Just imagine what you might do if you quieted down fear and took some good steps forward.

Make a plan and step forward. Shape your future.

Warmly,
Tom

Tom Marcoux
Spoken Word Strategist – Executive Coach
Speaker-Author, 45 books so far 🙂
CEO


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