The Hidden Dangers of Playing it Safe



Last year Dina, a CEO I’d been working with, felt that leaders on her team were playing it too safe. They weren’t finding and pursuing new growth opportunities, and it was crippling the organization. She kicked off her October management team meeting, which I was attending, by reading the following passage from my book:


“The dangers of taking too much risk are very clear. We’re reminded of them in the news every day. Businesses, families and individuals are ruined in shocking fashion—’150-year-old bank and pillar of Wall Street is gone in the blink of an eye’; ‘Major oil company loses $90 billion in market value in three months’; ‘Kite surfer tries his luck in a hurricane and slams into a building.’ Astounding lapses in judgment are everywhere. The warnings of overambitious risks are clear—watch yourself, and don’t do anything stupid.”


Unfortunately, we rarely hear any warnings about playing it safe.

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Doug Sundheim

Doug Sundheim

Doug Sundheim is a consultant and executive coach with over 15 years of experience in growing businesses and helping others do the same. He works with leaders and teams of Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial firms to help them maximize their effectiveness. You can follow Doug on Twitter @DougSundheim and find out more about his services at

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