Why It Works: Chris Jean-Charles on Blind Leaps

by Joseph Kwon in


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Recently, a former colleague, Chris Jean-Charles shared his insights on taking Blind Leaps on the "Why It Works" podcast. After spending over a decade in the Marines, he successfully transitioned into the private sector, and is now an entrepreneur. My only regret is that during the time we worked together, I failed in my mission to transform him into a soft, corporate marshmallow.

While Chris has learned to thrive in various VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambigious) environments, make no mistake, he is not a fan of reckless risk-taking.

Never put yourself in a position to lose more time and/or money a single leap of faith than that which you can stomach and bounce back from.

Being courageous enough to take a calculated risk with an uncertain outcome is not the same as risking it all on one roll of the dice. Another important lesson we discussed is the need to "develop your edge" when taking blind leaps. Chris defines your edge as the collection of all the unique things about you that can shift the odds in your favor. This might be your skills, network, mindset, personality, past experiences, etc. An easy way to focus on discovering your edge is to complete the following sentence:

I am uniquely qualified to succeed at this because ________.

If you'd like to hear Chris share these insights in his own words or hear more of our conversation, you can listen here.

Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.