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Taking Smart Risks: How Sharp Leaders Win When Stakes are High by Doug Sundheim

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CHAPTER TWO

Shifting Your Perception of Risk—The Smart-Risk Zone

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.—JOHN F. KENNEDY

One reason we get caught in the comfort zone is that we don’t see a viable alternative to it. We want to get out, but everything outside of the comfort zone looks dangerous. We may rationally know that this is not true; however, the perception of a danger zone looms large enough to stop us. If we don’t do anything to shift that perception, we’re left with two unattractive options: play it safe or lose control. We have no access to growth.

But if we take steps to shift our perception of danger, we can create a third zone, which I call ...

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