I had to make a business decision recently that involved three choices. It was about rebranding my business. Each of the choices had elements of how I see myself as a coach.

Two of the choices were in my comfort zone and one felt risky and outside my comfort zone.

The coach I am working with gave me plenty of space to be comfortable and to combine elements of the different ideas to make it my own and we reached a comfortable conclusion.

Towards the end of the conversation, she asked one simple question: “Would it be okay to keep the idea that was a stretch in the mix since we might be able to use it in some capacity?”

After I said yes, she highlighted it in green and then let it go.

In an earlier conversation, she shared with me that many people hesitate to be bold in their branding choice. It feels like a risk. You are putting a stake in the ground saying my business/my coaching does X. And I felt that reluctance to declare what my vision and purpose is.

My coach also explained to me that a Brand Purpose is aspirational. It is something you continuously strive for. This helped to shift my thinking.

After making the decision about my brand, I had to drive to an appointment. And that was when I heard the whisper of the leader in me and paused to listen. Nothing was carved in stone yet and I could marinate on what we had discussed. And I couldn’t stop thinking about the risky choice. The one that made me pause and gulp and stirred up butterflies in my stomach.

What would happen if I made that “risky” choice? Did I believe it? Did I aspire to strive for the purpose of the brand?


So, when I got home, I wrote to my coach and chose the brand that was risky and bold and that I could get excited about — and Potential Within’s new website (the very site you’re on right now) is one of the results of this choice.

Here are some of the steps that supported my final decision:

  1. Have 3 to 5 possibilities to consider. Research shows too many choices stalls the process.
  2. Be flexible and expand. Zoom in and out.
  3. Keep the stretch (risky) goal in sight even if initially dismissed.
  4. Pause several times during the process to “try on” different ideas.
  5. Notice how you feel about a possible decision. Are you excited, scared?
  6. Don’t be afraid to make multiple decisions.
  7. Have someone be a sounding board to support and challenge your ideas.

So why Risk & Resilience?

Because to take Risk, you need to have Resilience. Once you make the decision to take a Risk, you are going to need to be Resilient to see it through. You will doubt yourself and so will others.

Being Resilient often means seeing possibilities long after others have given up. Resilience will be needed as the original plan changes along the way. And Resilience will be crucial to pick yourself back up if the Risk doesn’t work out as planned.

Successful leaders are capable of both taking Risks and having the Resilience to ride the wave of change that happens afterwards.

What stops you from taking a Risk?

Special thanks to Susan Bishop for her brilliant coaching support during this rebranding process and for providing a safety net for me to take a risk. You can find Susan at Unlocked Box.  

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Welcome to the Listening to the Leader in You Blog

Super-leaders arm themselves with insight. This blog is where you’ll find concepts, ideas, resources and more for honing your full set of leadership capabilities. 
Lynn Schaber, MCC
For the past 20 years, I’ve been privileged to partner with individuals intent on cracking the code to leadership beyond the ordinary.