Strategist and best-selling author Michele Wucker coined the term “gray rhino” for obvious, probable, impactful risks, which we are surprisingly likely but not condemned to neglect. The metaphor has moved markets, shaped financial policies, and made headlines around the world. It became a frame for the ignored warnings that led to the COVID-19 pandemic and a lyric in a hit BTS single about depression. Michele’s 2019 TED Talk has attracted 2.5 million views. 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; and the new book YOU ARE WHAT YOU RISK: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World. A former media and think tank executive who began her career writing about emerging market finance, Michele is founder of the Chicago-based strategic advisory firm, Gray Rhino & Company. She speaks regularly to high-level audiences on risk management, the global economy, and decision-making, and is quoted often in leading media. She has been recognized as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow, among other honors. Visit her website at or; follow her on twitter @wucker.

00:00 Introduction

01:22 How the name Grey Rhino was coined

05:45 Why companies put off dealing with Risk

10:55 What is an individual’s risk fingerprint

12:26 Does nature or nurture win on defining One’s risk fingerprint?

14:01 Are there one or two that stand out in shaping One’s risk fingerprint?

21:28 Millennials and risk

24:58 The risk muscle

28:09 Building your risk muscle

34:05 Genetics and risk

40:00 How to change an organization’s risk fingerprint

45:30 https:/

45:53 Newsletter Around my Mind

Michele’s Ted Talk can be found…

The podcast for this episode can be found…


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