Developing People...
Inspiring Success

"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success; we often discover what we will do by finding out what we will not do; and probably (s)he who never made a mistake never made a discovery." Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) Scottish Author

Volume 1, Issue 3 -- April 2004

In This Issue

Feature Article  |  Resources  |  Fast Facts 
  Survey  |  What's New  |  About Regina

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Feature Article - Risk Taking Has Its Rewards

People often tell me that they are amazed at how willing I am to take risks. For me, it's less about the risk itself, and more about the opportunity and excitement it generates, that compels me to step out of my comfort zone again and again.

So, how do you view risk? Most people I talk to view risk in negative terms. In fact, Webster's defines risk as "to expose to hazard or danger." With a definition like that, who can blame anyone for avoiding risks?

Yet taking risks is critical for our long-term success. In fact, the authors of Breaking the Glass Ceiling indicate that taking risks is a key success factor for women, while not necessarily the case for men.

How can you overcome the fear of taking risks? Try these simple steps:

  1. Start small. Take a new route to work. Go see a movie by yourself. Try coffee instead of tea. You get the picture.

  2. Take "deliberate" risks. Deliberate risks are ones that you choose to take, typically after completing some fact finding or analysis.

  3. Set risk taking goals. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish. Then write down one goal about the risk that you would like to take. Break it down into smaller chunks. Then do one thing - today - to move yourself forward.

  4. Reward yourself. Risk-taking can be draining, particularly if you are not used to it. So, don't forget to do something nice for yourself after taking a risk - no matter how large or small!

What are the benefits? People who are comfortable taking risks typically experience "increased autonomy, heightened self-esteem, a more positive attitude toward life and an increased sense of personal power."

If you hope to be able to access your full potential, you will need to become more comfortable taking risks. That means stepping out of your comfort zone and sacrificing security. Remember the old adage, no risk no reward. So, what are you waiting for?


Copyright 2004 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc.


Queendom - Do a search for "Risk Assessment" for a quick survey to determine how much of a risk taker you are. 

Taking Risks: Your Attitude Toward Business Growth The SBA Online Women's Business Center offers this exercise, which is designed to help you look at your own attitude toward business growth, and how you feel about taking business risks.

Take a Chance, Risks to Grow By, by Joseph Llardo and Carole R. Rothman

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Can Women Reach the Top of Americas Largest Corporations?, by Ann M. Morrison, Randall P. White

Fast Facts
Organizations lose 8 weeks per year of employee time due to poor communication, which can, and does, lead to conflict. Source: International Communications Research

Each month we will be asking for your input on a short survey. This month our survey is on networking.

March Survey Results - Taking Risks
50% of respondents STRONGLY AGREED that they have recently taken a risk that has enriched their life.

Only 34% of respondents AGREED that their fear of the disapproval of others keeps them from doing the things they want to do.

100% of respondents STRONLY AGREED that when they want to improve themselves and their position they are willing to invest energy and time to do it.

50% of respondents STRONGLY AGREED that they express their beliefs and values in spite of the repercussions that may follow.

50% AGREED that their internal fears limit their self-improvement.

Only 34% of respondents AGREED that they want to move up the corporate ladder or take their business to the next level but fear the risks involved.

Respondents were split 50-50 that they are motivated by taking risks in many situations.

What's New

Interested in hearing Regina speak? Here are some upcoming programs that are open to the public:

April 29, 2004, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Female Perspectives in Leadership (TM),
The Woman's Club of Minneapolis

April 30, 2004, 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
The Art of Self-Promotion (TM),
The Woman's Club of Minneapolis

June 8, 2004, 11:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Networking for Success (TM), The Marquette Hotel

June 9, 2004, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Becoming a Certified Woman Owned Business, Women's Connection

Contact us at for information on how to register.

About Regina
Regina Barr, President of Red Ladder, Inc., holds a BBA in finance/management and an MBA in management/ marketing. An advocate of lifelong learning, she is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Human Development at St. Mary's University in Minneapolis, MN. Her focus: leadership and issues facing women in business. Regina has over fourteen years in the financial services industry where she has a broad range of leadership experience in product, sales, and marketing.
Email Regina

What our clients are saying...
"We are so pleased with the focus groups that you conducted! I would highly recommend you to any organization looking for an exceptional consultant."
Susan J. Johnson, Executive Vice President, Northeast Bank

Copyright (C) 2004 Red Ladder, Inc.  ~  
 651-453-1007  ~  Inver Grove Heights, MN  55076