- So one of the important things that might be holding you back as you're thinking about taking risk and that held me back from a couple of risks I was thinking about taking is what if I'm successful? What could that mean? Does that mean that, I've seen the research that said that particularly for women, success and likability are inversely correlated. For men, they are positively correlated. That was number one that I had to think about. How important is it for me as I go through my day-to-day life to be thought of as likable? And along the way as I've had periods of success, I can tell you, I've had folks that I've negotiated with, folks that I've work with who, along the way, have said, ah, I never would've guessed you were so easy to work with. I never would've guessed. That for me wasn't, I got over it. For me, it was something I was willing to accept, but I think it's important for all of us and particularly as women to think about is being likable important to us? What happens if I'm successful? The other thing. Will I lose my crowd? Will I lose my tribe? Will I lose my friends? When I was thinking about becoming director of research, would that mean that all the 18 other research analysts who I was commiserating with and complaining with and spending time with and going after drinks with, would I lose them as my crowd? Short answer, yes. Yes, I did lose them as my crowd. Did that matter to me? Did staying in that pack and having that support group matter to me and for me, having the opportunity to take on the new responsibilities helped me get over that, but it's worth thinking about. The other thing, sort of related to the two. Fear of being talked about. Sticking out. If I go into the room and I'm the boss, people all of a sudden get quiet and I've heard those boss conversations before. Am I comfortable with that or not? These are personal decisions. What I can tell you is that my analyst crowd back at Sanford Bernstein, the one that I'm no longer part of, it's no longer there. Business is actually changing so quickly that this person went off to this job, this person went over to the buy side, this person retired because they had enough. Change happens anyway. But I think it's worth digging into, and again, particularly as for women, thinking a little bit about the fear not of failure but the fear of success, and I would urge you, I'm going to go back to it again and again, I find for me, getting it all out, not just letting it waft through your brain but actually writing the stuff down. Spending time with it and saying this is my fear of success right here, taking it to the people who you view to be great advisors to you and talking through. I took this to my husband at the time and said, if I lose my friends, he said, you've got other friends Sally. Push yourself. You're good. You can go. But I think for all of us and particularly for women, what I want you to do is really think about your fear of success as well as your fear of failure, work that through and think about whether that upside of the new experience, taking on the risk, making an impact, making a difference is worth it. I think a lot of times you're going to find that it is.
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.