Daring greatly: In the arena or watching from the stands?

Many times it seems far safer to stand still, to maintain the status quo, to avoid taking a risk. After all, if we don’t try anything new we can’t possibly fail. Standing on the sidelines, watching others take the first steps into uncharted territory, seems far easier. Until it isn’t anymore and we discover it’s later than we think.

Winning companies are willing to continuously experiment. They resist the urge to study and, instead, embrace the urge to do. These companies know how to Fail Better.  These companies know you can’t win without trying.

Teddy Roosevelt’s inspiring words were uttered more than 100 years ago, but ring even more true today:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

One thought on “Daring greatly: In the arena or watching from the stands?

  1. I agree, yet there can be danger in over-doing without proper analysis and strategy. A CEO of Fortune 100 company said, “We are really good at implementing bad ideas.” The danger is to focus on the process (the doing) without sufficient due diligence to decide on the correct course of action. So defaulting to action is a good course, but a better one is to start with an idea or vision of what the better course might be, then go do that.

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