Don’t Be a Hero

businesspeople-with-capes-DOUG SUNDHEIMThere’s one piece of advice I’ve found all long-term successful risk takers follow: stay humble.

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 between conviction and doubt. You must simultaneously make a decision to move, yet realize that you may be wrong. Conviction without doubt leads to overconfidence and loss of control. Doubt without conviction leads to paralysis and inaction. Smart risk takers balance both.

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Doug Sundheim

Doug Sundheim

Doug Sundheim is a consultant and executive coach with over 15 years of experience in growing businesses and helping others do the same. He works with leaders and teams of Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial firms to help them maximize their effectiveness. You can follow Doug on Twitter @DougSundheim and find out more about his services at

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