It’s one thing to be brilliant. It’s another to convince people around you that your brilliance is viable. Of course, you can’t blame them for shying away from risk. They may understand that every big idea starts out crazy, but they also know that every crazy idea doesn’t end up big. They’ve seen what can happen when enthusiasm triumphs over caution.

Picture this scene: You bring an ingenious plan to your boss and say, “Sit down, boss. I’ve got a great new idea.” You explain your plan in breathless detail. Your boss says, “Well, that certainly is a new idea. Who else has done this?”

“No one,” you say. “That’s ...

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