Throughout my career, I’ve seen success when I’ve taken risk. Risk comes in many forms for different people, but in my experience, it involves three things: embracing change, getting involved and not being afraid to make mistakes.

Embrace Change

We live in a time when things are changing nearly right before our eyes. Looking back, it took many generations to observe the tangible impact of innovation and the progress associated with it. Today, however, we are forced to completely reinvent our skills and adapt our behaviors many times during our lives.

Some people shrink from change. I love it. Trying to predict the next big thing and being an active part of shaping or leveraging it is what makes me go to work every day. My advice: As the speed of change accelerates, keep up with it — read, engage with subject matter experts, share ideas, be part of the conversation.

Get Off the Bench

I always respected leaders who led by example — whatever it takes to advance the cause — and I try to apply this to how we, at Intouch Solutions, function. It doesn’t matter if you manage a sizable team; you should continue to be very hands-on and involved in everyday business. In the agency world, it’s not uncommon to work late nights and weekends. If a manager needs to order or bring in dinner or man the copier to support and help the team, so be it. No job is too small in our world. Nothing makes the team stronger than a camaraderie achieved through having these experiences. I believe that sharing the hardship of last-minute requests, as well as the thrill of success, is much more effective and rewarding than pep talks or inspiring memos. Regardless of your position in your company, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and lend a hand. I promise you that your colleagues and employees will respect you for it.

Make Mistakes

I remember my grandmother saying to me: “If you do not buy a lottery ticket, there is no chance you’ll ever win a lottery.” What this means to me is don’t be afraid to make mistakes. And for that matter, don’t be afraid to let your employees make mistakes. Mistakes can be fixed. If you don’t embrace new opportunities and foster independent thinking in your business, you will never open new doors or explore innovative ideas. In our company, innovation is highly prized. Everyone, regardless of discipline or job title, is encouraged to be proactive and innovative. Having the opportunity to come in with ideas, then implement and test them in the market is exhilarating.

One of my favorite examples of this is our Business Innovation Team (BIT) Challenge. In a BIT Challenge, a complex question or topic is posed to the team, challenging them to think critically about emerging trends and technologies that may impact healthcare marketing. Every associate who has participated says it’s a great opportunity to make mistakes in a safe, nonjudgmental environment; to collaborate with people they don’t normally get to work with; and to explore new technology trends and develop new, strategic ideas.

About the Author
Boris Kushkuley, Ph.D., is an executive vice president at Intouch Solutions, a privately held, full-service multichannel marketing agency with offices in New York City, Chicago and Kansas City. Built on a digital foundation and 600+ employees strong, Intouch redefines what marketing means for pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.