Collaboration was secret #1 of leadership. What was secret #2? Encouraging risk-taking.
Is risk-taking useful? Yes, massively so. This is precisely where innovation comes from. If we just sit and do the same thing over and over, it will likely not lead to anything new or radical. But risk-taking needs to be calculated, not random, not just for the heck of it.
A super story is that of James Dyson, a born entrepreneur, and also a huge risk taker.
He once created a product called the Ballbarrow, a wheelbarrow with a low center of gravity, like a giant yoga ball in front of a wheelbarrow, making it easier to work in gardens and construction sites. Unfortunately, the product didn’t sell and he was ousted from the company he founded.
However, James’ failed invention led to his greatest success story. While working on the Ballbarrow, he noticed the powerful suction of the turbine fans used to clean up the paint factory and he wondered why home vacuum cleaners couldn’t be that effective. This sparked his curiosity and he set out to create a vacuum cleaner without a bag, which was the root cause of lost suction in traditional vacuums. It took him 7 years and 5000 prototypes, but eventually, he created the game-changing Dyson vacuum cleaner. After launching the product at a mid-size retailer in Britain, it quickly gained popularity through word of mouth.
Today, James Dyson is one of the richest people in Britain and the success of his company is a result of its willingness to take risks and constantly push boundaries. Continued tomorrow…
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