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

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Stay Humble

When you get overconfident, that’s when something snaps up and bites you.—NEIL ARMSTRONG, 2004 Cnn interview

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” No matter what river we stepped in yesterday, today brings different water, different currents, and different conditions—in essence, a different river.

The smartest risk takers have a deep understanding of and respect for this idea. They realize that even if they masterfully crossed one river yesterday, today is a different day. It brings just as many challenges, and sometimes even more, because the more success you have, the less vigilant you become.

To be a humble risk taker requires managing a fundamental tension ...

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