- So if you've decided that you're going to take on a risk, how is it that you proceed? I've recently gone through this because I'm starting a digital investment platform called Ellevest, which is a very different undertaking for me than what I've done before. I sat down, as I hope you have, put through the pro's and the con's of whether to take the risk. Now, once you've decided to do it, as I did, what do you do next? Well, I want you to pull back out that pad of paper, and I want you to pull back out that pencil, and I want you to begin to think through what all of the different risks are in what you're about to do.
And then we're going to talk about how to mitigate them. For me, much of the answer was something that I've become very passionate about in my career, which is the team. And if I'm going to take on this risk, I need to make sure I've got the people around me who can help mitigate these risks. For me it's diversity. I found and am working with a co-founder who is as different from me as anybody I could possibly find. I like to say to the team that if we agree on anything, it will be sort of a red letter day at the company.
But that we both come at this from such different perspectives. We've got diversity on this team, we have diversity of gender, we have diversity of background, we have diversity of age, we have diversity of perspective, we have diversity of education, we have diversity of industry, we have as much diversity as we could possibly find. I find that as we think about mitigating risk, that's often the answer. It feels much more comfortable to have people who think just like you around you, around you, you feel like the risk has been reduced, because look, we all agree, oh my gosh! I agree with you, you agree with me, it must be right.
She agrees, she agrees, she agrees, there are five of us, there are 10 of us, we all agree! Heck, when I was on Wall Street, the whole industry, we agreed, subprime wasn't an issue, not a problem, but if you all come from the same background, and you all look at the problem the same way, the fact that you're agreeing doesn't mean you're mitigating the risk, the fact that you're agreeing means the risk is increased. That you aren't looking at everything from every angle. So what I would urge you to do, as you're thinking about taking risk, as you've decided to take the risk, sit down again with a pad of paper and a pencil, lay out what the different risks are, look at each way you can mitigate them, often the answer will be your team diversity.
Often the answer will be pulling on that network of yours, but team diversity, a lot of difference. And as you start to do this, I think what you're going to find, is that you're going to be pulling together some of the best teams you've ever had, you're going to be mitigating risk, and you're going to be uncomfortable. But that's a very good thing.
What's holding you back? How can you gain the confidence necessary to take risks and chance failing? Sallie Krawcheck is a LinkedIn Influencer and one of the most successful and influential executives in financial services. She has built her career and reputation on thoughtful risk-taking. Here she shares an approach that will help you to take chances while mitigating risk—and keep you on the track to growth and continued opportunity.