I am all for taking calculated risks and stretching beyond our current limits. However, I’ve discovered that there are times when taking the safe, comfortable, and known path is best.
The adage, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” applies here. It refers to falconry where the falcon resting on the hand is a more valuable asset at that moment than the two unknowns that we have no control over. It’s a cautionary statement that warns us about going “all in.”
Here are some times when playing it safe is to our advantage as leaders:
- Hiring from within the organization. Hiring from outside is a crap shoot at best. If you hire from within, you have a better known quantity and quality.
- In times of crisis. When the plane is going down is not the time to change the location of the exits. In that moment, the known path is best.
- Immediately after the completion of a major project. Our team member’s internal resources need some time to be renewed before we charge the next hill.
- When followers feel that “there has been too much change around here.” Their perception may not be correct but that is how they feel. If they feel unsafe already, adding more change or risk can overwhelm them.
We move forward by taking risks and pushing the envelope.
The key is in knowing when to let the bird leave the hand so we can go for the two in the bush.
Timing is everything.
What risks do you need to pass by right now in favor of the safe path?