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The #1 international bestselling author of The Gray Rhino offers a bold new framework for understanding and re-shaping our relationship with risk and uncertainty to live more productive and successful lives.
What drives a sixty-four-year-old woman to hurl herself over Niagara Falls in a barrel? Why do we often create bigger risks than the risks we try to avoid? Why are corporate boards newly worried about risky personal behavior by CEOs? Why are some nations quicker than others to recognize and manage risks like pandemics, technological change, and climate crisis?
The answers define each person, organization, and society as distinctively as a fingerprint. Understanding the often-surprising origins of these risk fingerprints can open your eyes, inspire new habits, catalyze innovation and creativity, improve teamwork, and provide a beacon in a world that seems suddenly more uncertain than ever.
How you see risk and what you do about it depend on your personality and experiences. How you make these cost-benefit calculations depend on your culture, your values, the people in the room, and even unexpected things like what you’ve eaten recently, the temperature, the music playing, or the fragrance in the air. Being alert to these often-unconscious influences will help you to seize opportunity and avoid danger.
You Are What You Risk is a clarion call for an entirely new conversation about our relationship with risk and uncertainty. In this ground-breaking, accessible and eminently timely book, Michele Wucker examines why it’s so important to understand your risk fingerprint and how to make your risk relationship work better in business, life, and the world.
Drawing on compelling risk stories around the world and weaving in economics, anthropology, sociology, and psychology research, Wucker bridges the divide between professional and lay risk conversations. She challenges stereotypes about risk attitudes, re-frames how gender and risk are related, and shines new light on generational differences. She shows how the new science of “risk personality” is re-shaping business and finance, how healthy risk ecosystems support economies and societies, and why embracing risk empathy can resolve conflicts. Wucker shares insights, practical tools, and proven strategies that will help you to understand what makes you who you are –and, in turn, to make better choices, both big and small.
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"You Are What You Risk introduces a new vocabulary for talking about these threats. Everyone has a personalized “risk fingerprint” that describes what kind of risk-taker they are, shaped by their personality, upbringing, and experiences. Strengthening your “risk muscle” can help you make good decisions. Wucker's focus zooms in to examine personal predicaments and zooms out to global crises, analyzing how people wrestle with choices and uncertainty." The Grist
“There's a huge need in the business world to better understand the human factors behind how we perceive and evaluate risks, and there's no better guide than Michele Wucker. Drawing on the stories of compelling risk-takers, practical research, and proven strategies, You Are What You Risk treads essential new territory for executives who want their organizations to be innovative, creative, and industry leaders." Danielle Harlan, author of The New Alpha: Join the Rising Movement of Influencers and Changemakers Who are Redefining Leadership
“The world is complex. But if we can't be aware of all things happening everywhere all the time, can we at least have a framework for understanding what risks loom large and small in our lives, and start to think rationally - as individuals, companies, governments, and societies - about how to respond? You Are What You Risk delivers that story, that framework, and that action plan.”
Parag Khanna, author of Connectography and How to Run the World
"This is an important book, one that you'll be talking about and thinking about for a long time. It's a chance to understand how to make better choices about the lives we're busy building." Seth Godin, author THE PRACTICE
"As Silicon Valley illustrates, risk attitudes and behaviors are at the heart of why organizations and economies thrive or head for disaster. In You Are What You Risk, Michele Wucker explores the dynamics behind individuals' and companies' relationships with risk, from personal experience to cultural values to policy ecosystems. Her original insights and practical recommendations will help readers choose healthy risk-taking over dangerous missteps in business, life, and the world."
Deborah Perry Piscione, author of Secrets of Silicon Valley and The Risk Factor
"Whether you're an investor, entrepreneur, of simply trying to forge your career strategically in any field, you'll benefit from Michele Wucker's innovative, clear-eyed approach to taking wise risks and navigating uncertainty. This book will help you to get from ordinary to extraordinary." Laura Huang, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Author of EDGE: Turning Adversity into Advantage