YOU ARE WHAT YOU RISK Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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Contact: Katie Reiss

Katie@nardimedia.com

Best-Selling Author of The Gray Rhino Releases New Book Exploring How Risk Relationships Shape Our Personal & Professional Lives

You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World

Releases April 6, 2021

**Interviews Available with Author & International Best-Selling Author Michele Wucker**

Michele Wucker, the #1 international best-selling author of The Gray Rhino, offers a bold new framework for understanding and re-shaping our relationships with risk and uncertainty to live more productive and successful lives. Her highly anticipated forthcoming book, You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World (Pegasus Books) will be published April 6,  2021.

?      What drives a sixty-four-year-old woman to hurl herself over Niagara Falls in a barrel –or, for that matter, motivates any of us to take big risks?

?      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?

?      What made the difference between people’s strategies for protecting themselves from Covid-19 and how they saw each other’s choices?

The answers define each person, organization, and society as distinctively as a fingerprint. Understanding the often-surprising origins of these risk fingerprints –from your innate personality and unique experiences to your peers to your diet to your surroundings including the temperature and aroma in the air–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.

Drawing on compelling global stories and weaving in insights from economics, anthropology, sociology, neuroscience, psychology, and public health, the author challenges stereotypes about risk attitudes and shows how to reduce the damage they do. She re-frames the relationship between gender and risk, shines new light on generational differences, shows how the new science of risk personality is re-shaping business and finance, and why embracing risk empathy can resolve conflicts. She explores how feedback loops in healthy risk ecosystems support economies, societies, organizations, and citizens.

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 relationships work better. Inspired by readers who asked for personal applications of her influential gray rhino theory, she provides compelling stories, practical tools, and strategies to help readers thrive in business, life, and the world.

PRAISE FOR YOU ARE WHAT YOU RISK

“Whether you’re an investor, entrepreneur, or 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

“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

ABOUT MICHELE WUCKER

Photo of Michele Wucker against backdrop of Chicago Bean and downtown
Michele Wucker. Photo by Hal Shipman (CC-BY 4.0)

Author and strategist Michele Wucker coined the term “gray rhino” for obvious, probable, impactful risks, which we are surprisingly likely but not condemned to neglect. She is the author of four books including the global bestseller THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, which China’s leadership has used to frame and communicate its crackdown on financial risk. The metaphor has moved markets, shaped financial policies, and made headlines around the world. It helped to frame the ignored warnings ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic and inspired the lyrics of the hit pandemic pop single “Blue & Grey” by the mega-band BTS, about depression as a gray rhino. Michele’s 2019 TED Talk has attracted over two million views.

Michele is founder of the Chicago-based strategy firm Gray Rhino & Company, drawing on three decades of experience first as a financial journalist and then media and think tank executive. She has been honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow. She has held leadership positions at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; the World Policy Institute; and International Financing Review. Her writing has appeared in publications around the world including The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She has been a sought-after media commentator on the Covid-19 pandemic.


MEDIA CONTACT:
Katie Riess
Katie@nardimedia.com

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The Gray Rhino on The Innovation Show Podcast

In a wide-ranging conversation, Michele Wucker spoke with the inimitable Aidan McCullen for Episode 242 of the popular Innovation Show podcast, posted October 8, 2020.

Listen via your favorite podcast delivery channel:
Web http://bit.ly/2FwsOJw
Soundcloud https://lnkd.in/gBbTTuF
Spotify http://spoti.fi/2rXnAF4
iTunes https://apple.co/2gFvFbO
Tunein http://bit.ly/2rRwDad
iHeart http://bit.ly/2E4fhfl

Or watch below:

The Economist the World in 2021

The Economist invited Michele Wucker to contribute to its annual The World Ahead/The World in 2021 issue. The resulting article, Was the pandemic a gray rhino or a black swan?, was published November 17, 2020.

“Facing the daunting challenges ahead will require long-term thinking, a greater emphasis on the real economy rather than stockmarket performance and, above all, a commitment to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable,” she wrote. The article puts into context the gray rhinos ahead of us in 2021: climate change, financial fragilities, and inequality that has made the rich even richer while front-line essential workers struggle.

Read the full article HERE.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU RISK -Coming April 2021

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 some people wait until the last minute to get to the airport while others get there much earlier than they need to? Why do entrepreneurs thrive in the face of uncertainty, while others cringe at the thought of leaving a stable nine-to-five job? Why are some countries quicker than others to face up to risks like pandemics, technological change, and climate crisis?

The answers to these questions define each person, organization, and society as distinctively as a fingerprint. Our risk fingerprints are a critically important but overlooked catalyst for innovation and creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and success. They explain why we seize opportunities and avert obvious dangers –or succumb to stagnation, fear and failure. We ignore them at our peril, yet traditional risk management

In You Are What You Risk, Wucker examines why we avoid risk, when we should embrace it, and how we can re-examine our relationship with uncertainty, danger, and opportunity for both personal and professional success.

Risk-takers are motivated by factors as broad as culture and values, as specific as their personalities and past experiences, and as strategic as calculations about how much they have to gain or lose. But the deciding factor in whether they make good or bad bets lies in their awareness of the often-unconscious influences on their perceptions, choices, and behaviors.

Drawing on the stories of risk takers around the globe, and integrating economic, anthropological, sociological, and psychological insights, this ground-breaking and accessible book offers a completely new way to understand and face a changing world.

Wucker reveals insights, practical tools, and proven strategies that will help readers seize ownership of risk and make better choices, whether big and small. She shows how the new science of “risk personality” is beginning to shape business and finance, drawing on examples of activists, businesses, and countries seeking to create a healthy risk ecosystem that supports creativity, innovation, and positive entrepreneurship. 

You Are What You Risk answers important questions: Why are some people good at averting crises at work but a mess in their personal lives? Why are we more likely to take chances when we are part of a group than when on our own? Are we born with our risk attitudes or do we pick them up along the way? What is the right amount of uncertainty to live with?

Risk decisions have never been more crucial, particularly in a world where political turmoil, economic insecurity, technological transformation, and climate change have exposed us to unprecedented levels of vulnerability. You Are What You Risk is a clarion call for a new approach to risk, one that will surprise and challenge us as we look towards the future.

In the US: Pegasus Books (April 2021)

International English: Simon & Schuster International (May 2021)

Audio: Oasis (April 2021)

China: CITIC (2021)

Taiwan: Commonwealth (2021)

South Korea: Mirae Books (2022)

Pre-order HERE or at your favorite bookseller.

COVID-19 Video Conversations

Michele Wucker has been in high demand for commentary on why so many pandemic warnings went unheeded and what we need to look for coming down the road including debt crisis. Here’s a compilation of recent video appearances.

Leadership Insights Episode 024
Brough Leadership Institute (South Africa)
Conversation with Andy Brough
July 8, 2020

An Insolvent World: Can We Avoid a Global Debt Crisis?
UN Global Compact Leadership Summit
Panel with Navid Hanif, Director of Financing for Sustainable Development Office United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); Shari Spiegel, Chief of Policy Analysis & Development Branch, UN DESA), and Sebastian Grund, Harvard Law School
June 15, 2020

Transcending the Crisis
CEO Roundtable and Context of Things
Whitaker Raymond in Conversation with Michele Wucker
May 8, 2020


Is COVID-19 a ‘Gray Rhino’ Event?
Wildtype Media/Asian Scientist Magazine (Singapore)
Michele Wucker interviewed by Juliana Chan
May 22, 2020

Leadership Through and Beyond the Crisis
Micro Strategies
Michele Wucker in conversation with Lisa Nemeth Cavanaugh and Beverly Geiger
Micro Strategies
May 8, 2020

Twenty Minutes from the Future: Gray Rhinos and our Future
ImpactsCool (Italy)
Christina Pozzi in conversation with Michele Wucker
May 26, 2020


The covid-19 pandemic is not a Black Swan but a Gray Rhino: latest development of the pandemic in Europe and US 
Nottingham University Business School (China/UK)
A Dialogue with Michele Geraci, former Undersecretary of Finance for Economic Development for Italy
May 14th, 2020

Fireside Chat with Champions
A conversation with Deepak Pareek (India)
May 25, 2020


Black Swans, Gray Rhinos, and Tigers..Oh My with Michele Wucker
RCM Alternatives Derivatives Podcast with Jeff Malec
May 28, 2020

THE GRAY RHINO Kindle Sale: $2.99 for July only

For July 2020 only, the Kindle/ebook edition of THE GRAY RHINO is on sale for $2.99 across all digital platforms. Don’t miss this chance to get your copy of the #1 best seller in financial risk management –and even better, gift it to friends and colleagues!

COVID-19 Related Podcasts

Catch up with Michele by listening to the recent podcast interviews she’s done focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its financial consequences. Here are links and short descriptions:

Moneywise Guys
David Anderson and Sherod White, KERN Talk Radio/Moneywise Guys, June 30, 2020
David and Sherod talk with THE GRAY RHINO author Michele Wucker about why you should be wary of the surge in the markets, and how you can keep from getting trampled when the bull market turns to a bear.

Would You Know If a Gray Rhino Was Coming at You?
Jim Blasingame, The Small Business Advocate, June 16, 2020
Michele Wucker joins Jim Blasingame to reveal the concept of a metaphorical gray rhino, which is a challenge on your horizon that you should be – have been – able to anticipate and deal with before it takes – took – you down.

A Conversation with Michele Wucker
Anne Janzer’s blog, June 12, 2020
Podcast and transcript
“Q: For people who aren’t familiar with it, we’ll talk about your book The Gray Rhino. The reason that it’s coming up today is because this pandemic is a wonderful example of a Gray Rhino: a risk that it’s obvious we’ve seen stampeding towards us—or some people have been seeing and shouting about—and yet we’ve done nothing until we’re on the horn of the rhino.”

Michele Wucker Breaks Down the Gray Rhino
Scott Kitun, WGN Radio/Technori
June 10, 2020
“When people think back to the 2008 financial crisis and other big events, they often jump to the moment’s inevitability that catastrophically impacts economies, businesses and lives in what has become known as black swan events. However, Wucker dissects just how much we overlook in terms of predicting global-scale events and phenomenon, with the answers often hidden in plain sight.”

Black Swans, Gray Rhinos, and Tigers..Oh My with Michele Wucker
RCM Alternatives, Derivatives Podcast, May 28, 2020
[Video Podcast]
“The financial world seems to have a fascination with zoomorphism – the attribution of animal names, emotions, or intentions to non- animal occurrences like market shocks. Black Swans are the famous one, but there’s also been White Moose and Gray Rhino added to the lexicon. This episode we sit down with the creator of the Gray Rhino risk metaphor, Michele Wucker, author of The Gray Rhino.”

The big questions we face in coming months
Amy Guth, Crain’s Daily Gist, May 25, 2020
“Author Michele Wucker coined the term “grey rhino” for a highly probable, high-impact yet neglected threat. In this episode of the podcast, she talks with host Amy Guth about how grey rhinos could shape economic recovery, the practical decisions we’re going to need to make over the coming weeks and months and what helps us to bounce back quickly.”

Covid-19 and the perils of prediction
Tom Standage, The Economist The World Ahead (podcast), March 31, 2020
“As the Covid-19 situation worsens, host Tom Standage explores what the pandemic reveals about the perils of prediction and what other future threats we might be overlooking. ”

Michele Wucker and Gray Rhinos
Richard Cutcher and Julia Graham, Airmic Talks, May 10, 2020

Interview with Michele Wucker
David R. Koenig, DCRO Risk Governance, May 8, 2020

The Truth About Facing A Challenge
Gary Sanchez, Beyond Your Why, May 1, 2020

Global Thinkers Forum in Conversation with Changemakers
Elisabeth Filippouli, Global Thinkers Forum and Athena40, 17 April 2020

War, What Is It Good For?
National Public Radio on the Media, April 3, 2020

Breaking the Fever Inaugural Episode
Preventable Surprises and Ethical Systems, Breaking the Fever, March 31, 2020

A Metaphor for Our Times

If the nobody-could-have-seen-it-coming black swan metaphor was the narrative of the 2008 market meltdown, author and strategist Michele Wucker’s highly probable, obvious “gray rhino” metaphor tells the story of the crisis we are in today. 

Amid the double calamities of the COVID-19 pandemic and market meltdown, both of which followed repeated public warnings that went ignored, the gray rhino has struck a chord and generated a flood of headlines around the world.  

Cover of New Model Advisor Magazine -a rhino's horn in front of a cracked wall with headline "The Signs Were There"

Crisis Response Journal recently called the gray rhino “A metaphor for our times.” The UK financial magazine, New Model Advisor, made the gray rhino the cover story of its new issue, relegating the black swan to a sidebar.

Nassim Taleb, who coined the term “black swan” for highly improbable and unforeseeable events, has declared on twitter and in multiple interviews, including on Bloomberg News, that the combined pandemic and financial crisis was and is not a black swan. It was neither unforeseeable nor even improbable.

Michele coined the term “gray rhino” to draw attention to the obvious risks that are neglected despite – indeed, often because of– their size and likelihood. The gray rhino metaphor has moved markets, shaped financial policies, and made headlines around the world. She introduced it at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in 2013, and developed a five-stage analytical framework in her 2016 book, THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies around the world and influenced China’s financial risk strategy

Michele’s recent Washington Post op-ed challenged the tired black swan trope that has given portfolio managers and policy makers a convenient “nobody saw it coming” cop-out when they ignore obvious dangers: “Let’s trade the black swan for the gray rhino: a mind-set that holds ourselves and our government accountable for heeding warnings and acting when we still have a chance to change the course of events for the better instead of waiting for a crisis to act.”  The Wall Street Journal quoted her Washington Post article, offering the gray rhino as an alternative to the black swan. 

Axios, Fast Company, and The Economist’s The World Ahead podcast have adopted the gray metaphor to describe this crisis. The term also has made pandemic and financial collapse related headlines in Australia, China and Taiwan (too many articles to link), Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Middle East, South Africa, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, the Czech Republic, Chile, Venezuela, Canada, and Mexico.

The black swan has been misused to normalize complacency. By contrast, the gray rhino provides an alternative that challenges decision makers to be held accountable for failing to prepare for and head off clear and present dangers.

It provides not only a new way to think about the twin pandemic and financial crises, but also a framework for how we can do a better job holding decision makers accountable when they fail to keep threats from turning into catastrophes. As Crisis Response Journal put it, the gray rhino is indeed a metaphor for our times.