Babe Ruth pointing to the stands, and then hitting a home run.
Joe Namath guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory despite being an 18-point underdog, and then going out and winning it.
There’s something magical about calling your shot – telling people you’re going to do something impressive and then doing it.
Even in the workplace, the way to earn more credibility, more trust, and more freedom to do what you want without interference, is to call your shot. Tell your audience, whether it’s your managers, your team, or your investors, that you’re going to do something ambitious and then execute. Every time you call your shot and make it, you earn yourself a longer rope. If you watch the dynamics at your workplace, you’ll see this play out repeatedly.
Of course, the downside is that if you call your shot and fail, then you may lose credibility. It’s a risky ploy in that way.
But the bigger risk may be not committing to any goals at all for fear of failure. Not calling a shot means that you are subject to those around you – the freedom and credibility will go to those who take risks, while you are left behind.
Which risk do you prefer? The risk of inaction or the risk of trying something ambitious and failing? And does it change the decision to realize that trying and failing is more respected and more satisfying by far?