A Few Words from Paul: Risk is Scary

Risk is scary.

Like watching a movie when you know something is about to jump out, but they keep you waiting and waiting and waiting until BOOM! That kind of scary. I get tingles in my stomach just thinking about it. Why do so many of us feel this way about risk?

I think I know why.

How would you like to be running for President these days? How would you like to be running for anything in the public eye? Shoot, just think of how long you wait before posting something on social media that could be perceived as “edgy” or controversial. Or maybe you don’t do any of that and just sit tight in your own little nest we call the comfort zone. Ahhhh.

It is so hard to take a risk for fear of being seen unfavorably. In fact, I believe it keeps us from living in possibility.

LSH-all-banners-LO-RES-13Don’t do anything stupid. Make sure the right lens filter is used for your picture. Double check your spelling. Ugh. It is so tiring having to spend so much time to be seen in a good light. And what does it do for us other than perpetuate the myth that we all have it figured out and we are perfect. Worse yet, it encourages us to be right and never be wrong. If I don’t risk speaking out or sharing myself, I will never be criticized or judged. No chance of messing up.

In an age where everything we do is monitored digitally, we can’t afford a mess up because it will eventually come out when we do something big, public, or courageous. Risk is something we just can’t afford. Or can we?

What if we all got a little bold, a little brave, a little less concerned about the outcome, a little more inclined to jump first and show the way? What sort of world would that be? I know it would be a messy world for sure. We would make a lot of mistakes. We would be held accountable…and, we may just achieve a breakthrough.

That is the cost associated with not taking a risk. We will never know what could have been.

We ask Institute participants, “What would the world look like if everyone led with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible?”

We will never know until we take a risk and try.


Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.

A Few Words from Paul: Renewal

shutterstock_145220275I’m not a big fan of Spring.

For some reason, I always think of this season as muddy, rainy, unsettled, and overall sort of depressing. By far, my least favorite season. Yep, very aware that I am odd at times. This more or less proves it.

What makes it even harder to understand for me is that I love baseball and spring training. Hated rain outs even though I did play in Arizona while in college so it didn’t happen often. Even more odd, right? I can be hard to figure out. Ask the staff (smile).

As I struggle through the season, I’ve been thinking a lot about my outlook toward spring asking what can I appreciate about it. Such a novel approach, I know. So, somewhat reluctantly, I’ve been focusing on this concept of renewal as it relates to spring and to my life. I do think that I have personally gone through a period of renewal. Not sure that I can recall one as vividly as this one.

I’ve been really happy lately. Like nauseatingly happy.

For the past five years, I really felt that my life was going to be LeaderShape and my kids (not necessarily in that order) and that would be it. Pretty much reserved myself to this path. Then it happened. I stopped thinking that. In a moment. I just did.

Finding someone to share your life with is amazing. Not necessary to be happy, but it doesn’t hurt either. Though she had to ask me out over 30 times (I think it was more like 15), I decided to change. Decided to stop beating myself up. I took a chance. To live.

Damn, that was scary.

What if it doesn’t work out? What if my kids hate her? What if her kids hate me? What if I do something wrong? All very inspiring questions. Then it hit me. Those moments we face are exactly what renewal is all about. Having another opportunity. A chance to start again. An opportunity to develop a new perspective. The moment to make a different decision about my life. A time to brush off the cobwebs, the mud, the weather, and begin again. This time with a little more bounce in my step. With a little more wisdom. Another perspective.

We all need renewal. The time and space to reflect, think, apply the lessons we have learned. Come out of the dark places with the intent to try again. Call it resilience, perseverance, determination, etc. It is about knowing that we have another chance. They call it a mulligan in golf or a short memory in baseball. Give it another shot.

That is the essence of renewal. Possibility.

The possibility to be happier than you were yesterday. Over the top happy. Even if you do have a rainout every now and then. Even in Arizona.

Enjoy your season of renewal and don’t forget to bring an umbrella.

Just in case.


Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, soon-to-be-husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.