Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cicero on risk

"... Any rash fool can be a hero if he sets no value on his [business or fellow colleagues] or hasn't the wit to appreciate danger. But to understand the risks, perhaps even to flinch at first, but then to summon the strength to face them down -- that is the most commendable form of valor"
Marcus Tullius Cicero
A project manager who is rash is also probably a fool, and worse if he/she hasn't the wit to understand and appreicate project risks. But the the PM of commendable valor is the one that may flinch or draw back from risks .. at first, but then summons the strength to face them down ...
In my risk management courses, I hear all too often that sponsors and others may be a bit short on valor, even as they may not be witless, when they:
  • Look the other way on risks,
  • Kill the messenger,
  • Fail to fund mitigations, and
  • Then are the first to look for scapegoats.
Of this group we can truly say: Valor was not a common virtue.