When things are going well it would be foolish to do anything to change it. Why take risks when everything is going smoothly, right? In truth, the mark of a successful leader isn’t made by the things that they leave constant. Instead, it’s by the risks they take and the successes they achieve from the learnings gained by the mistakes they make. To be a successful leader you have to bet on certain risks worth taking.

Being courageous and bold is an important ingredient of being a successful leader. You need to have the intention to go beyond the norm and be innovative. Start off with a baseline and define what’s sustainable. Next, calculate what risks you’re willing to take that possibly won’t disrupt your baseline. And then go ahead and execute it. As a starting point, try some of these risks which are worth betting on.

1. Hire Someone You Normally Wouldn’t

The safest thing to do would be to hire someone who’s right for the job, fits the description and has all the qualifications, skills and experience that match the requirements you’re looking for. It’s what you’d normally do simply because you know it works and will meet your expectations. But that’s just the problem. You’ll only get what you expected and nothing more. Hiring someone who’s short of these in terms of qualifications, skills or experience may be a bet that could work in your favor. You’ll find that to compensate for their shortcomings they’ll go the extra mile and prove to you how loyal, dedicated and focused they are. You’ll learn hiring “unusual” candidates are risks worth taking.

2. Take an Underperformer Under Your Wing

There’s a common saying given to almost every underperforming team member, “shape up, or ship out”. Most leaders given up on underperformers and replace them with someone else. Someone who they believe can and will deliver. The obvious justification to this is that you don’t have the time for mediocracy and have stiff challenges that require a skilled resource to work out. That’s easy enough. But taking on someone who isn’t up to the mark and shaping them into a performing star is not only challenging for a leader, it’s an opportunity to truly test your leadership abilities. Take the risk of giving them a second chance. Help them learn from their mistakes and guide them to be better. That’s where you as a leader will feel more accomplished.

3. Admit When You’re Wrong

Leaders are often placed high up on a podium by their teams. You’re a role model, a guide, a source of motivation and inspiration and are abundant with solutions. You’re almost at a place where you can do no wrong. But we all know that’s not true. Leaders can make mistakes. And that’s perfectly fine. What you do next is the pivotal point. Admitting that you made a mistake and that you were wrong takes courage. It’s a risk because it could shake up the confidence of those around you. But these can be risks worth taking if you open yourself up to suggestions and feedback. It’s not admitting defeat, however, it’s saying you miscalculated and now are welcoming ideas on how to manage its impact. You’ll surprisingly find your team more supporting and willing to work this through with you after your acceptance.

4. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Being risk aversive has its benefits as going with a tried and tested formula is guaranteed to produce results. Also, it helps you avoid uncertainty and prevents you from accepting loses and making mistakes. Though if you were to step out of your comfort zone you’ll be able to try something new and explore your creative and innovative side. These can be risks worth taking as the knowledge you gain will be vital for growth, yours as well as your team’s and company’s. It allows you to experiment with things you haven’t done before that could create new opportunities as well. The key, of course, is to take a pragmatic and calculated risk and one which is backed by empirical data.

5. Trust Your Instincts

In a world that revolves around information and data, it’s hard to ignore numbers and the significant value they possess. Most decisions leaders make are based on facts, numbers, analysis and information that you collect over a period of time. Sometimes though, numbers aren’t enough. Sometimes you have to trust your instinct, your gut and feelings to make choices. After all, you’re a leader with substantial experience and skills. You’ve seen a lot and learned much. There are moments where your wisdom plays a larger role than the numbers you see. And that’s where you take a leap and do something risky not based on what’s known but what you believe in. There will be times you’ll be wrong which is fine. Learn quickly from your mistakes and move forward. However, when your instinct is right and you’re enjoying the outcome, that risk will be all worth taking.

Sure you won’t be successful in every risk you take. There’ll be failures and realizations of the mistakes you made. But the key is to fail early, learn and take another risk. There are risks worth taking and to propel your career or make a significant impact you need to take those risks. How else will you be able to achieve more.