McBride for Business Blog

Risk and Reward Assessments

March 17, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

R. Shawn McBride recently spoke about running risk- reward calculations in business. Here is the full transcript: 


Good morning, everybody. R. Shawn McBride with you, live here from Orlando, Florida. If you’re out there watching, drop in the notes. I want to hear where people are listening from and what issues you’re dealing with. Today, I want to get an important message out to you about risks and rewards in our teams. If you like this message, please share it. I think it’s very, very important to so many of us in our management teams to get this stuff right.

Let me start by telling you a little story about risk and reward. My parents adopted a dog, a dog named Champ, a very, very sweet dog. He’ll do anything you want, but he has a very big obsession with Frisbee. Loves to play Frisbee. As you’re holding the Frisbee out and getting ready to throw it, he is very, very intently watching that Frisbee.

He’s watching all of your movements to see what you do, how high is it, how are you holding your wrist, and where is it going. He’s running a calculation in his head and by the time you release the Frisbee, that dog has committed to a plan of action. He’s going a certain direction, and he’s going to catch that Frisbee. Sometimes he’s right, maybe about 80%, 85% of the time he’s very, very close to where the Frisbee lands without looking at it. Turns and grabs it, probably about 50% of the time, gets it in his mouth, depending on how you’re playing with him and how challenging you’re making it. Very, very important calculations going on his head instantaneously.

We business owners have similar calculations going on all of the time and we don’t even think about it. It’s instinctive.

As something comes to us, somebody presents an opportunity, somebody tells us to try something, a customer comes to us, we’re running risk-reward calculations constantly. We’re not thinking about it because it’s what we do as business owners. We are calculating risk and reward. We want to know is this good or bad, positive for business, negative for our business.  And we’re doing these calculations almost instinctively. We just don’t even think about it. But our teams are not business owners. We want to build a culture where they feel engaged in the business and they have important input. But they may not be running these same kind of calculations. We want to engrain a culture where we’re getting these calculations going.

We want to ask what is a risk-reward.  When we assign projects or when team members come to us with proposals, in a perfect world they’re bringing a risk-reward analysis with that in their eyes. We can work with them to help adjust that and tailor it to really explain where the risks and rewards are for your business and why you’re going a different direction or why you’re doing what you’re going to do. You may accept their proposal, you may not accept their proposal, but you want to have some open communication about why and why that risk-reward was there. Think about that some and think about how you’re building that in your team.

If you’re not a fan of this page already, please like the R. Shawn McBride public fan page. We’d love to have you onboard. We’d love to show you, share more of this content.  Go over to McBride For Business and subscribe to our blog, sign up for our newsletter, get the download for your business evaluation checklist. That way you’ll have some more information on how to run your business better. Send me some questions. I would love to know what you’re challenged with, what’s going on in your business, how to make things run better. How can I help you? How can we get our teams paying attention to these risk-reward analysis? I think it’s very, very important and I think it’s something we all need to focus on. Let’s think about it. Let’s work on it together. I’ve got some great ideas for you.

I know other people face situations.  I’d love to help you analyze those situations and think about how it specifically applies to your specific company with your unique circumstances. Don’t feel afraid to reach out to me, R. Shawn McBride, to discuss and we can work with you. Something small, I’m glad to just chat with you. If it’s something bigger, we can work on a plan together for how to get your team really engaged, whether it be some speaking to get them aware of the issue, some hands-on training, or some one-on-one coaching.  All of these things are possible through McBride For Business. Let’s talk, let’s open a conversation. I really want to help you and I want you to get to your visions and your dreams. I think getting your teams engaged in risk-reward is going to be critical.

Thank you. Shawn McBride.

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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique.  Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Matthew Maaskant.


About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at or (214) 418-0258.


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