Leap of Faith or Calculated Risk: Which Type of Leader are You?

You are a passionate leader, a person with an entrepreneurial spirit, ready to risk and jump forward when the time is right. But which opportunities are worth the plunge?

Here are two different types of leaders and how they view and interact with opportunities. These lie at the end of two extremes. You may fall somewhere in the middle.

    1. The Believer – You believe in people and ideas, so you jump in with minimum requirements because you see great possibilities. I categorize myself with this type with both its ills and wild successes. The believer wants to take over the world—and believes it is possible. As a leader of a Fort Worth, Texas based healthcare company, I was at the center with a small group of leaders, who prodded us to expand internationally. Now we are in Lebanon, Kenya, and about to have a presence in another African country. The believer tries and jumps into the arena, often with large success! This is the way of Jeff Besos and Amazon. This is the way of Facebook and Zuckerberg. Here is the downside of this approach. In my life, along with the medical facilities we opened over the past 10-15 years, we also opened a physical therapy business (which did not work), a weight loss and fitness center (which did not work), and other bold programs (that did not work). In the past I was very close to opening a pet shop, a print shop, and even a barber shop. I have invested in a restaurant and become part owner in a cricket (yes the insect) growing business (which sells to zoos). The more frequently I jump in, the more I learn when best to jump again in the future. While we have grown in size sevenfold, there were many missteps along the way. Still, I am learning how to improve myself in the fight and so are our leaders.


  1. The Hunter – This leader is a patient hound. She goes by the Warren Buffet maxim: 99% of success is saying no to wrong opportunities, so you can say yes to the right one. These leaders do not look for good profit, they look for maximum profit. They do not look for good deals, they look for extraordinary deals. For this, they are extremely patient. They save their money, which takes meticulous discipline. They simply refuse to be excitable like the Believers and the avid risk-takers. Make no mistake, The Hunter takes risks, but they are much more calculated when they do. Their conservatism and careful calculation means missing out on some opportunities, but when they pounce on the ones they purposefully choose, they often hit the jackpot. The Hunter can be so careful that she loses momentum, loses key people who prefer to take more action, or many times lose opportunities all together.

Both the Believer and the Hunter can get to success in whatever field they choose if they apply good business fundamentals. Each type of leader has a different role. It is important to understand where you fall on this spectrum. As you begin to learn where you fall, you can start decreasing the potential failures of each type of leader. One last idea here is to partner or work closely with someone who has the opposing trait.

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