PM Article – GO, take that RISK!


GO, take that RISK!


-Srinivasan Radhakrishnan

Once a king organized a competition for his people. There was a big pond in front of his palace. The pond was filled with crocodiles and poisonous snakes. He announced that whoever swims across the water can claim any one of the following three rewards

– 1000 sovereigns of gold,

– 100 villages from his kingdom

– His daughter’s hand in marriage!

Every day, people used to gather to see who could muster enough courage to swim across. However, no one was daring enough to take up the challenge.

One fine morning, the crowd saw a young man jumping in to the pond. People started shouting in excitement. Amidst the applause and encouragement, he swam rigorously and made it to the other end of the pond. The king was overjoyed! He couldn’t believe that someone had taken up the seemingly impossible challenge and won!

The king was now curious to know which of the three rewards the victor would like to claim. And so he asked him

“Do you want 1000 sovereigns of gold?”

The young man answered, “No”.

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“Do you want 100 villages?”.


“OK then…. Do you want to marry my daughter?”


The king was surprised and equally disappointed, “Come on, you have taken up my challenge and won it. You deserve the award and should take one of these. Please tell me, what do you want?”.

The young man said, “I just want to know one thing… I want to know who pushed me into the pond…”

Many-a-time, we hesitate to take up challenges. We think too much to start working on a new technology or a new domain. There may be some projects that we wanted to do but never took up because of the risks involved.

But if we take a step back and think, we might realize that there were instances where we thought something is impossible but took it because someone else had pushed us to do it. The manager or our mentor/coach would have had a discussion and suggested us to take that project. Or it might have become a mandatory need to survive, so we took that big challenging or daunting task. But you did swim across and succeed, right? The project, task that you thought was impossible once, was made a reality just because someone took the initiative for you.

If we take the initiative on our own, there will be no need for someone else to push us.

“If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done”.

All of us have career aspirations. We would like to grow. We would like to have certain positions or roles or designations during our career. We want to be able to take on bigger responsibilities. How can that happen if we never take any risks?

Unless we take the first step, we can never move forward. We can never reach at higher levels unless we take up challenges. If we continue to do what we know and what we are comfortable with, we will either remain where we are or we might go down as others might get better at it and take over.

This does not mean that one should blindly take up anything and everything. We need to analyze the risks or challenges and come up with a plan to handle them. All problems come with solutions, just that it’s hidden somewhere. If we are alert and plan properly, we will be in a position to handle those challenges. You can take the guidance and support from specialists as needed. With the social networking options we have these days, help can come from anywhere. With proper planning and support, one can take up any challenge.

Instead of sitting and waiting for that fine day where someone else will ask us to work on something new, let us start today. Look into what are those challenging projects that you wanted to do but didn’t start because of the fear of unknowns or the fear of failure. Create a plan to take up one of those projects. Identify the risks and come up with a risk mitigation plan. Think of what help and support you might require. Act! Succeed! Reward yourself at the end. And definitely the system will reward you as well

So, why wait for someone else to push you in to the waters? Go, take that RISK!!!