Be bold

1 minute read

Are you bold enough?

We can all be a little bolder sometimes.

Being bold is often what holds us back. As children we’re taught to “look before you leap”, which is great as a child, yet risk taking is an important part of learning.

I’m pretty pragmatic, however sometimes being sensible and realistic isn’t bold enough, and find myself assessing risk when it probably isn’t necessary.

“Be bold” is a term I picked up on as an editor on Wikipedia. I enjoyed learning about various subjects and began improving the entries as I learned more about the subject matters.

But it’s more than just a style guide for Wikipedia, it’s a style guide you can adopt for everyday life, a philosophy.

The Wikipedia entry for “Be bold” starts off by explaining that you should “go for it”. If you want to change something, do it. Less talk, more do. If someone doesn’t like it, it can be easily undone.

Rather than embarking in an edit war, you’re encouraged to follow the “Bold, revert, discuss” cycle, which encourages disagreements to turn into productive discussions.

In software engineering, we can attribute this type of approach to Grace Hopper, who was the developer of the first compiler for a computer programming language, by asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission” – Grace Hopper, U.S. Navy’s Chips Ahoy magazine (July 1986).

If you think it’s a good idea, then do it. It is much easier to apologise later if it doesn’t work out than it is to get permission before you do it.

In leadership, we should seek success through bold action and risk-taking, not security through the status quo.

Life is like a wild tiger. You can either lie down and let it lay its paw upon your head Or sit on its back and ride it. Ride the wild tiger.

Are you bold enough to ride the wild tiger?