CHAPTER THREE

Smart Risk Taking

Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.—GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON

Mention risk taking in business and names like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs come to mind—legendary figures who’ve made big headlines and captured imaginations. Known for their vision and chutzpah, leaders like Branson and Jobs are risk taking personified—or so it would seem.

In reality, this type of risk taking is a minuscule fraction of all risk taking. Most risks are smaller and more common. They entail tackling the types of challenges or fears that people face every day: having a tough conversation to drive a project forward, conducting a difficult meeting to get to the bottom of an issue, or writing a business plan to ...

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