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Jul 6, 2022

People who are willing to take more risks are more likely to experience greater success, and the only difference is that they are willing to try, and occasionally fail.


Jim McCormick is the president of the Research Institute for Risk Intelligence, a world-class, Hall of Fame skydiver, and author of The Power of Risk. With over 5,200 skydives to his name, Jim knows plenty about the value and thrill of intelligent risk-taking. He took his first jump when he was 32, and immediately found that satisfaction that comes with conquering his fears.


But how important is risk-taking in reaching your goals? Jim shares the fears of deep-sea exploration and the value that leaders have by sharing their expertise with non-experts. Humans do not like to feel vulnerable, and risk makes us vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided altogether.


Everybody is happy when innovation works out, but what happens when companies take a risk and it doesn’t work out? Jim explains the 350 Rule, which celebrates failure while still focusing on and aiming for success. No enterprise can expect every risk to result in reward, but those risks are generally still worth taking.


After every single jump, Jim reviews footage and reflects on what went well and what can be improved for next time. With a culture of permission, companies and leaders can embrace failure and encourage intelligent risk-taking.


It’s incredible to consider how much effort some people put into taking risks out of their lives, but that is rarely the path that leads to the greatest success. Playing it safe, or reflexive risk aversion, often limits the success you can experience. With 3.67 million skydives made in the U.S. last year and only 10 fatalities, it’s clear that our perception of risk and the actual risk we face often vary widely.


Interview Links:

Research Institute for Risk Intelligence

Jim on LinkedIn



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Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Scaling Up Coaches (formerly Gazelles). We share how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail.


Bill Gallagher, Scaling Coach and host of the show, is an international business coach who works with C-Suite leaders to achieve breakthrough growth.


We help leadership teams with the biggest decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth. Scaling Up is based on Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.


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