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The Power of Being Bold


Business is struggling to overcome obscurity in a vast ocean of competition for attention.  In a virtual world, getting noticed can be challenging.  Not to be cliché, but the struggle is real.  As I help businesses recover and rethink reality, people seem to react to the environment instead of leveraging opportunity.  Too many companies are simply waiting or hoping for the market they serve to determine their future.  This strategy is a colossal mistake at worst and a missed opportunity at best.  You can control your future, and you can use the winds (no matter the direction) to your advantage.

The problem I notice often is timidity.  When facing uncertainty, business leaders are hesitating.  This hesitation is resulting in missed opportunities and underwhelming results.  Whether you lack confidence or you are indecisive, taking a timid approach is a problem.  You think it is better to go slow and feel things out before committing to a new direction or a new opportunity.  Is this an excuse for not taking bold action?  Is hesitation a symptom of your lack of confidence?  How does your team react to your timidity as a leader?

The antidote to timidity is boldness.  Take action with courage that forces you out of your comfort zone.  2020 was a wake-up call for some and validation of excuses for others.  Someone reading this is still making the pandemic a reason for not taking action.  Others are using the pandemic as a springboard for taking massive action.  As always, it is a choice.  You cannot control the past, but you can manage your response to current reality.

  1. Be bold in your marketing strategy. The more daring you go, the better.  Your competition and your team are always watching you as a leader.  Boldness strikes fear; fear creates authority.  As the authority, you control the narrative. Courage gets people's attention.  Going halfway with half a heart digs a deeper grave.
  2. Get out of the herd—animals herd for protection from predators. Prey animals survive by being average and ordinary.  Fish, sheep, birds, and cattle all use the anonymity of numbers to hide from predators.  Sadly, humans do also.  Your fear of being singled out of the herd of humanity is a challenge to overcome.
  3. Be audacious as a leader. Audacity separates you from the herd.  Success is infinite.  There is no limit to the amount of success you can attain.  Christopher Columbus asked one monarch for an audacious sum to fund his voyage to the western world.  He got turned down initially.  However, his bold request made the offer legitimate in the mind of another monarch who agreed to most of his original proposal.  His audacity made the request seem reasonable.
  4. Raise your prices. Your timidity about pricing is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Too many sales leaders are discounting because they lack the boldness to sell value.  They fear being out of the herd as the price leader.  Someone must be the most expensive.  Are you bold enough to write a high-value check that your team must live up to in the future?
  5. Fire your problem person today. Someone reading this is being held hostage by a jerk on the team.  This person costs you time and money, yet you fear a future without them.  You fear they will take customers away or they have too much experience that you need.  Stop being timid and be bold.  Your team will thank you.
  6. Fire the wrong customers. I regularly discover businesses working for almost nothing or, worse, negative margins because they are afraid to fire customers who are more than willing to take advantage of timidity.  I coach sales professionals to position themselves as peers rather than subordinates to buyers.
  7. Quit your job. The post-pandemic mass migration of workers is currently underway.  People are quitting jobs for new opportunities that are the result of changing workplace norms.  If you feel under-appreciated or no longer challenged, be bold and make a change.
  8. Attack your Goliath. David was small and obscure.  Defeating Goliath made David a household name.  Choose a large target and attack.  The larger the target, the more attention you will gain.  Make bold claims and back them up with relentless effort.  If you claim to be the best amongst your competition, force your team to live up to the reputation you make in the market.

Being timid is a safe choice.  Bravery means being afraid but doing it anyway, and being bold means taking action outside of your comfort zone.  What do you have to lose, or what do you have to gain?  It is a choice. Behavioral economists call this loss aversion; you are predisposed to fear loss 2:1 over potential gains.  This thinking is the herd mentality that leads to mediocrity in life.

Opportunities find the bold.  When you put yourself out there rather than in the obscure herd, the law of abundance presents opportunities you never thought imaginable.  An abundance mindset means you believe there is opportunity outside your comfort zone even though you cannot see it for yourself. 

To lead others, you must be original rather than another member of the herd.  If you are not different, people will merely follow the herd.  To get people's attention, you must diverge from everyday thinking. Paul Sacco says most people are not bold because they won't do something that they can't first analyze and don't trust their intuition. They see being bold as too risky.  Successful bold thinkers look at possibilities, seek new ideas and information, and then develop contingencies to handle risk.  You should be courageous if you see a great idea that you feel intensely will work. If you want to be an authentic leader, you must be bold.

As an animal, you are predisposed to timidity.  Being bold is not easy.  Start with baby steps to build your courage.  Be diligent about risk-taking behavior in your life.  I call these intelligent risks.  Do your homework and due diligence.  Whether scaling your company or quitting your job, you must take ownership of the consequences for success and failure.  Be willing to fail to know your capabilities. You cannot understand what you are capable of until you reach a failure point in life.  Be bold and test your boundaries.  The world will reward you!