Fortune favors the bold


Last Friday was St. Patrick’s Day, the one day of the year when we all wear green and contemplate such profound topics as “luck.” But how does one cultivate luck in business? It’s a great question that has a pretty straightforward answer rooted in history. The Latin phrase “audentes fortuna iuvat” is most commonly translated as “fortune favors the bold.” Some say it was first uttered by the historical figure Pliny the Elder as he attempted to rescue people from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other accounts attribute the phrase to the ancient Roman poet Virgil’s Aeneid, where the phrase is translated as “fortune helps those who dare.”

Regardless of its actual origin, the phrase is a well-known proverb that has been used for centuries to inspire and motivate people to take risks and seize opportunities. It implies that those who are bold and fearless in their actions will be rewarded with good fortune, while those who are too hesitant and cautious will miss out on opportunities for success. This concept is particularly applicable in business leadership, where taking bold and strategic risks can lead to substantial rewards.

In today’s competitive business landscape, leadership (and entrepreneurship in particular) requires a bold and strategic mindset. Leaders must be willing to take risks, challenge the status quo, and pursue innovative ideas in order to succeed. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and take bold actions that may be unpopular or unconventional.

Here are some examples of bold leadership in business:

  1. Taking calculated risks: Business leaders who take calculated risks, based on thorough research and analysis, can make bold decisions that can lead to substantial rewards. They should be willing to take risks that have the potential to create positive change and growth for their organization.
  2. Embracing innovation: Bold business leaders embrace innovation and are always looking for new and creative ways to improve their products, services, and processes. They are willing to challenge the status quo and disrupt traditional ways of doing things to stay ahead of the competition.
  3. Setting ambitious goals: Business leaders who set ambitious goals for themselves and their team inspire a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. They are not afraid to set goals that may seem unattainable at first, but work tirelessly to achieve them.
  4. Empowering their team: Bold leaders empower their team to take ownership of their work and make decisions that can drive the organization forward. They foster an environment of trust, collaboration, and open communication, allowing their team members to contribute to the organization’s success.
  5. Making tough decisions: Sometimes, making bold decisions requires making tough choices. Bold leaders are not afraid to make difficult decisions, even if they are unpopular or challenging. They are decisive, and they do not hesitate to take action when necessary.

While bold leadership can lead to significant rewards and success, it can also have potential downsides. Some of the downsides of bold leadership in business include:

  1. Increased risk: Bold leadership often involves taking calculated risks, but these risks can also carry potential downsides. The more significant the risks, the more potential there is for failure, financial loss, or damage to the company’s reputation.
  2. Resistance to change: Bold leadership can involve shaking up established ways of doing things, which can be challenging for some team members. Resistance to change can lead to conflicts, lack of buy-in, and delays in implementing new strategies.
  3. Overconfidence: Bold leaders can become overconfident in their abilities or the potential success of their strategies, which can lead to blind spots and missed opportunities. Overconfidence can also lead to neglecting critical details or failing to consider all relevant factors when making decisions.
  4. Burnout: Bold leaders often work tirelessly to achieve their goals, which can lead to burnout and reduced productivity over time. If the leader is not careful to maintain their own physical and mental health, they can become less effective in their role.
  5. Lack of stability: Bold leadership can create a fast-paced, dynamic environment, but it can also lead to instability if too many changes are made too quickly. This can result in a lack of consistency or continuity in the company’s operations, which can make it challenging for team members and stakeholders to keep up.

Overall, bold leadership requires a combination of vision, risk-taking, and action. The phrase “fortune favors the bold” is a timeless concept that remains relevant to the modern business leader. Taking bold risks and pursuing innovative ideas can lead to substantial rewards, but it requires careful planning and strategic thinking to ensure success. Aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders should embrace this concept and be willing to take calculated risks in order to achieve success and make a lasting impact in their industry.

Do you want to create more luck for your business? Be a bold leader.

[Joe Domaleski, a Fayette County resident for 25 years, is the owner of Country Fried Creative – an award-winning digital marketing agency located in Peachtree City. His company was the Fayette Chamber’s 2021 Small Business of the Year.  Joe is a husband, father of three grown children, and proud Army veteran.  He has an MBA from Georgia State University and enjoys sharing his perspectives drawing from thirty years of business leadership experience. ]