Ask Barb: Captain Jack Sparrow and Risk Taking

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May 9, 2012

Dear Barb:

I was in your audience in San Diego at the CSP Conference last year and loved your keynote “What Recruiters Can Learn from Captain Jack Sparrow.” During your presentation you stated that the opposite of courage is conformity. I felt like you were talking to me because I’m not a risk taker and pretty much stick to the status quo and haven’t been hitting my goals. What does it take to be courageous in our profession?

Conformist from California!

Dear Conformist:

You need to know why clients and candidates should trust and utilize you vs. your competition. If you don’t communicate the reason clearly – prospective clients and candidates are not going to take time to figure it out. One of the other lessons I discussed was successful people do what others won’t do! How do you stand out? What can you say that your competition can’t say? Don’t be afraid to take risks. Remember, successful people fail more because they try more. They view their failures as learning experiences. Be courageous to make subtle changes that will take you out of your comfort zone so you never again refer to yourself as a conformist!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the recruiting profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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