Audaces fortuna iuvat – that’s latin for “Fortune Favors The Brave” or sometimes depending on the use and interpretation “Fortune Favors The Bold.” Over the years it’s been the rallying cry of several organizations and it’s something I adopted as a mindset years ago. Too often, we shirk from being bold, brave and taking risks. And why not? When a risk goes wrong, everyone looks for someone to point the finger at. I’ve always been ok with that approach. I like being accountable for my decisions. And often, they are bold, they are brave and they are risky. But, they are never ill-informed or not grounded in insights. See, that’s the key to being bold. Don’t be bold to be bold – be bold because your gut and your insights are supporting your decisions.
As I was writing this post, I came across this great post from Kathi Kruse, titled, “The Awesome Power of Bravery in Social Media.” It’s a great read, and not just because she leads with a timely quote from Richard Branson:
The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all!
Yesterday, we launched a very innovative, first of its kind social media program. It was a risky program that some have referred to as a war. It’s often easy to play armchair strategist without knowing the goal, the objectives, the strategy or the final campaign metrics. I knew when I recommended this program and when we launched it, that the social pseudo-experts would jump all over it. I knew we’d hear that you shouldn’t “sling mud.” I knew social meda “purists” would argue you shouldn’t pay for “social media.” There were definitely potential downsides and less than 10% of all the conversation came from those dissenters. That 10% number isn’t made up. You can do a quick pull of the hashtag #ILoveWalgreens certainly demonstrates a more than 10 to 1 ratio of positive to negative opinions. That ratio was also validated by 2 of our social media monitoring tools. Some of my favorite tweets can be found here.
Certainly, the program wasn’t perfect. No campaign is. We learned a lot. We learned how to improve. We learned what worked. I also learned, what we’ve always known in this business…everyone thinks they know more than you do! That’s ok. It comes with the territory. As Richard Branson said, “The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all!” So long as empowered to do so, I’ll keep blazing new paths, new trails, rocking boats and leveraging real insights to drive smart risky decisions.