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Chasing Lions: Leadership and Risk-Taking

David Lykken
Oct 08, 2014

In our industry, risk is often perceived as a bad thing. Indeed, the misapplication of risk in our industry has caused a lot of problems for the economy in recent years. But risk isn't just about funding questionable loans. Risk is more than that ... and it can be a good thing.

In his book, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snow Day, Mark Batterson quotes an obscure passage from the Bible about a man who chases a lion into a pit and, even though the incline is wet and slippery from the snow, slays it before emerging. As a result of the courage this man demonstrates, he is recognized as a mighty warrior and appointed to lead the guards of King David.

Chasing a lion into a pit on a snow day is risky business. Whoever heard of chasing a lion, anyway? Most of us would run from a lion. But this man chased the lion into a pit and killed it. That takes courage. That takes a risk.

Being a leader is being a risk-taker. I'm not talking about financial risk. I'm talking about personal risk. I'm talking about having the willingness to be vulnerable. I'm talking about being the first one to pursue an opportunity—even when others are running away. Leaders always go first. And the first one to step out into the unknown is taking a great risk.

With no risk, there is no reward. What opportunities are you able to pursue in order to move your organization forward? Do you have the courage to chase them down and slay them? If fear is the only thing stopping you, that's probably a good sign that you should seize the opportunity. The future will thank you for your courage.





David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at dlykken@mbs-team.com