“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
–Goethe, German novelist and poet
I went looking for a quote about being bold — because boldness is what stands out to me about tonight’s edition of Dragons’ Den.
One of the Dragons makes a sudden and dramatic move, offering an investment before the other Dragons have finished asking all their questions of the entrepreneur in front of them. If you watch the program regularly, you know that these business moguls typically like to have a lot of information before putting any of their own money on the line.
But tonight, the sole female Dragon, Arlene Dickinson doesn’t hesitate. “I’m going to make you a deal,” she says to two pitchers from Ontario, mere minutes into the presentation.
Kevin is shocked. “Arlene, you spoke way too soon.”
“There’s a reason it’s called women’s intuition and not men’s intuition,” retorts Arlene. “I think this is exactly the kind of idea I want.”
Needless to say, Arlene’s bold step changes the dynamics of the pitch completely. How fascinating it is to watch these multi-millionaires jostle for position!
Her move made me think about how in our working lives, it is sometimes critical to move decisively, and with confidence.
In my role as a news anchor at CBC News, I see how the programming chiefs have to make big decisions almost instantaneously, for example, to go into ‘special mode’ for coverage of the Haiti earthquake. Hundreds of news staff across the country has to change whatever they’re doing, on the spot, to undertake new activities.
But not only leaders have a chance to be bold. Anyone in an organization may realize there’s a better way to do things, and make a suggestion that could improve the efficiency or productivity of a workplace. It’s so easy to do nothing. But to step forward with some creative thoughts, you need to be bold.
It’s the same with new career opportunities. The people who allow uncertainty or a lack of confidence to hold them back often get left in the dust, while someone who may not be any better qualified steps into an exciting new role — simply because they are more confident.
Boldness may not always have genius, power and magic in it — but passivity never does.