Challenge vs Chance

Challenge vs Chance

By Rajesh Setty on Fri 13 May 2005, 12:32 AM – 2 Comments

Recently I was discussing some of my favorite topics (management,

leadership) with Ashok Shrivastava, retired VP at CPG giant Proctor and

Gamble. Ashok had several insights to share but this particular one was

very interesting.

When a leader declares a goal and goes ahead and achieves it, he or she

is in the “challenge” mode. When a leader does not announce what he is

doing and achieves something, he or she is in “chance” mode. In

“chance” mode, the stakes are low and in the “challenge” mode, the

stakes are high.

There are cases when one is appropriate or the other. But, if a leader is never in a “challenge” mode, there is a problem!


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2 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on May 13th, 2005

Rajesh, I read your Blog very religiously and it has helped me in more than one ways. The best thing I can say it’s keeping me motivated. I look forward for your Blog every day.

In this particular Blog i am not very clear what you are trying to say. I understand ‘challenge’ and ‘chance’ bit. But it will be good to know when to be in the ‘challenge’ and ‘chance’ mode. May be an example would be good.

Anonymous  on May 13th, 2005

Krishna, you are very kind. Thanks for your comments. OK, I was deliberately being a bit cryptic and being in a “chance” mode in the post. Here is a bit more explanation.

Think about our own goals. We don’t share many of our goals because we don’t have certainty about achieving them. We don’t want to be disapppointed or we don’t want to “look bad” later (if we fail in achieving our goals) so basically by not announcing we are sort of “insuring” our “face saving” exercise later. So, in essence we are living in “chance” mode for many of our goals. In other words, we don’t announce them and if we did succeed we want the “kudos” but if we fail, nobody knew it so we don’t feel bad.

So, the message is – while this is a “safe” strategy, it’s not “challenging” enough.

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