But boldness doesn’t come standard for everyone. Like a muscle or a skill, it must be practiced, moment by moment, until it is second nature. That’s why this year, we’re leaning into—and sharing—the bold moments that lead to transformative success.
So, what does it mean to be bold?
Sure, you can substitute a bunch of action words: fearless, brave, dauntless…but there’s more to boldness than that. “Act bold” isn’t just an action item you pepper into your daily to-dos. Boldness is an equation: Intention + Confidence + Action. It’s belief in your ability to grow, and the audacity to try.
No person’s bold is the same as another’s, but as we look at our own bold folks around Launch, these are some similarities we’ve noticed.
When we think bold, we think of explorers, Polynesian sailors, astronauts, deep-sea divers. Why is that? Because those who are bold seek out places no one has ever been and do things no one has ever seen. They push boundaries strategically, look at problems a little sideways, and ask a lot of questions that start with “How come?” and “What if?”.
When you allow creativity to flow freely, you make space for bigger, bolder, crazier ideas. You nurture both your curiosity and your critical thinking. You encourage ambition while rewarding free thinking.
People often associate boldness with recklessness, but they’re a world apart. It’s the difference between leaping untethered from a plane on a whim and becoming Airborne qualified. In the Army, people who want to jump out of planes lay a lot of groundwork before they’re ever in the air.
They learn about parachutes and reserve chutes. They rappel down walls. They jump from short distances. They practice falling, without injuring themselves, over and over. When they finally get their action-hero moment, it feels more like business than recklessness.
Make big, bold, transformative decisions—but back them with your parachute of knowledge and experience. Take the many lessons you have learned throughout life and business and apply them.
Take the leap, but do it wisely.
Transparency is the catalyst of open, honest, and trustworthy conversations. Let’s be real—sometimes being open and honest is harder than jumping out of a plane! But it’s the only way to move a situation forward, strengthen your relationships, and aid in creating a safe space for TOUGH conversations.
To be clear, we aren’t suggesting you shout out whatever comes to mind without thinking it through, or that you be “brutally honest” (which is generally more brutal than honest). Bold transparency is about advocating for others, bringing light to factors that may have been left out of decisions, naming problems as a first step to finding solutions, and owning your shortcomings so you can supplement your thinking with people whose strengths complement your weaknesses.
Launch’s VP of HR, Genie Tower, lives BOLD through transparency:
“My job is to help others be successful, and I will do whatever I need to do for my team members to ensure their success. Sometimes it's having a hard conversation—being completely transparent, and not being afraid to have that hard conversation. I want people to rise to their fullest potential, and I'd rather have the hard conversation, and allow them an opportunity to work through those situations, than say nothing and have them fail. When one of my employees fails, I have failed. So when you ask how I live boldly, it's the lifting up and the supporting of others—whatever it takes.”
Mistakes are inevitable, and failure happens. It’s how you bounce back from failure that matters. Finding the value in failure means acknowledging the setback, owning up to it, finding the lessons learned, and applying it to future endeavors.
Okay, you say. We all make mistakes and, hopefully, learn from them. So what sets bold people apart? Scale. Bold people choose big, hairy, audacious goals. Often, they don’t achieve them right away. But big goals don’t necessarily mean big failures. When Dr. Spencer Silver set out to create a super-strong adhesive for 3M, he accidentally created a super-weak one instead…and as a result, an amazingly successful and useful product, the sticky note, was born. Talk about applying failure to future endeavors.
As speaker Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
Complacency is the death of innovation. And folks with bold thoughts are always hungry to charge forward.
Some people think of change as scary, unsettling, or a betrayal to tradition. When faced with change, they dig their heels in and hide their worries behind “we’ve always done it this way” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The thing is the opposite of change isn’t comfort. It’s stagnation, suppression, and stillness.
Instead of worrying about impending change, join the charge! Bold people embrace growth and progress. If you’re involved, you’ll be able to make your suggestions heard, drive action, and be a part of the future.
Creativity, brainstorming, and decision-making shouldn’t happen in a silo. The kind of people who celebrate boundless thinking, transparency, insight, and change understand that intuitively. Different perspectives, given openly and thoughtfully, are absolutely vital to making bold moves.
Seeking diverse thoughts benefits the decision-making process and creative ideation. It allows space for new ideas to take shape and be put forth. It provides a focus group that may prevent you from making a grievous user experience error or come up with a surprising and delightful new feature. And it creates friction that, if used constructively, means you’ll end up with the most valuable possible consensus.
This one is simple. Don’t tell us what you can do.
Although the two can go hand in hand, there is a distinct difference between leading and managing.
Managing is using control and authority to get the job done. Leading is contributing to overall success by creating a framework built from nurturing, motivating, and jointly achieving goals. Both methods lead to success on the bottom line, but only one is bold.
Why is that? It’s bold to yield a measure of control and leave space for development and growth along the way. It’s bold to bolster others and give them autonomy when you’re responsible to the board. But most importantly, it’s bold to trust the people you lead—and know that they’ll succeed.
Intention. Confidence. Action.
Bold moves don’t happen overnight. They’re an outcome of diligent practice of living out these bold traits. Rather than thinking of boldness as a destination, view it as an ongoing transformative journey that will benefit every aspect of your life.
Let’s navigate forward in this bold new world.