The Risks and Adaptability Paradox

If I have one message to future leaders, what would it be? This question crossed my mind and I share my message with the readers.

Imagine you are in the same position. It is a challenging invitation but is a worthy one. I decided that my message to future leaders is to focus on the paradox of risks and adaptability.

The paradox stems from the seemingly conflicting demands of both risks and adaptability. We minimize risks by doing the familiar, the established, and the known. We live in a world engulfed with the volatility of rapid change, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). They all lead to feelings of unsafeness. We are slipping back to a basic human need. That is safety.

Adaptability requires different approaches, asking more questions to understand than finding answers, exploration with curiosity, and more resilience.

Focusing on risks minimizes our adaptability. Thinking deeper I find is that the biggest risk is within us. It is by doing what we are familiar with doing. It is the false assumption that we can solve current problems with the same mindset that solved yesterday’s problems.

Nothing much will change if the feelings of risk overwhelm us and keep our lives on the same driving and familiar roads. No venture, no exposure, no curiosity and wonderment shall only lead to dull and boring lives.

The fear of risk keeps us on the same thinking roads. It is driving our thinking with familiarity. Our thinking remains static in a changing world. If we do not change, the world keeps changing. Can we meet the rapidly changing world with fixed mindsets?

Adaptability demands the increase of our abilities to learn, question what we learn, and move our thinking to different thinking paths. We need to have flexible possibilities that adapt to the needs of the changing world.

We need to have more versatile thinking than VUCA has. Thinking that has more varieties than VUCA does. Thinking that finds its real safety in abandoning the “familiar safety”.

Great leaders of today not only change your thinking paths but also create a safe environment for others to change theirs too.

What is your one message to future leaders? Please share your thoughts.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. “The fear of risk keeps us on the same thinking roads” This really resonated with me @ALi Anani! My message to future leaders is to always remember that learning and growth never stop. A true leader has to be humble enough to accept the fact that it can’t know it all and is open to acquiring new knowledge.

    • Thank you Leticia and I am glad you found something to resonate with you.

      On the need to keep learning I say who knows what the future shall unfold to? SInce we do not know the only way to advance and grow is to learn. I agree with your totally.

  2. My wise and dear friend Ali,

    If I love something about you, it’s undoubtedly the continuous expansion of of your mental patterns! 💙

    “Nothing much will change if the feelings of risk overwhelm us and keep our lives on the same driving and familiar roads. No venture, no exposure, no curiosity and wonderment shall only lead to dull and boring lives.”

    This extract was absolutely brilliant! If I may add something to your gems of words, I’d say that being a principled human being (aka a servant leader) itself guarantees keeping our heart open and ready for risks and adversity! We don’t all have to go and volunteer in the other side of the globe and find ourselves in the place of a dangerous psychopath (I’ll share my open letter I wrote to him soon). We merely need to stay flexible and curious about others, as you eloquently described it, while following our noble missions that go beyond ourselves, it seems to me!

    P.S. still eagerly waiting for the emotional story you promised last year! 🤗