It’s a weird caveat on all financial investments. Why do we state it on financial investments and rarely elsewhere? Imagine receiving a CV or resume with the statement on it. Or in an interview saying it. It would be just as true there, as in the financial space. And it is most definitely true in the leadership space, especially around change.
But we don’t like that and we assume that if you have built a house previously, you can do it again. That if you have led an organisation through a turbulent time, that you can do it again. If you have helped protect vulnerable people, you can do it again. And yet, if I set up to the tee and hit a hole in one, it is luck until I can do it regularly.
We want leaders with proven track records and we don’t want them to issue caveats. However, we are perfectly happy and expect financial investments to come with caveats.
Change is hard. And frankly, we often stumble through it rather than adhering to our plan. And sometimes, the mere fact the last time you led a team through change, it went horribly wrong could be an indication you are going to get some things right this time.