In 2007 when the major automakers began feeling the crunch of the recession, most brands cut back on budget, pulled everything in tight, and did everything possible to avoid risk. A radically conservative approach based in fear took over. And, as we know, it didn’t work, because for most of them, the government still had to provide a bailout.
In 2007 Kia Motors saw the changing landscape as an opportunity to advance, while others pulled back. They hired former Audi designer Peter Schreyer to oversee a full-on redesign of the car brand. They also built a $1.1 billion assembly plant in Georgia.
The result? 480% growth from 2007 to today. A $929 million company is now a $5.4 billion company.
When others retreated in fear, this company saw an opportunity to advance and get ahead—way ahead. Was this a risky move? Absolutely. Could it have backfired and sunk the ship? Absolutely. When asked if the move was worth it, what do you think the execs and the board would say today? Absolutely.
Great reward rarely comes without great risk.
In the Parable of the Talents that Jesus taught, who is the one in the story who decided to place no “risk” in his investment? The one who decided he couldn’t afford to take any chances is the one who, in the end, was rebuked. He just thought he was playing it safe. But how safe was it?
Isn’t it interesting and ironic how often we see in the Kingdom of God the one who takes, what appears to be the safest approach, is not the one who is blessed, but the one who seems to risk most is blessed. Maybe it’s because our self-centered perspective is to believe where there is faith, there is more risk, while in reality, where there is faith, there is actually less risk? Here is the final verse in this parable …
“‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. —Luke 19:26 NLT
Is there a risk you have been retreating from because of fear? Is there an investment in life you know you should make, but can’t seem to bring yourself to take the jump? Maybe it’s time to take a long look at where the real risk lies. It just might be in not taking it.