Browsing: My Gray Rhino

Hanging on my office wall is a digital print on metal of a little girl with a paintbrush facing down a giant rhino whose toenails she has painted fuchsia. In black silhouette, the girl looks like a cross between a Banksy image and the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street.

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Each one of us has a risk personality that is as distinct as a fingerprint. Our risk fingerprints start with our underlying personality traits, which you might think of as the ridges, arches, loops, and whorls that give the fingerprint structure and make it distinctive. Our experiences alter the fingerprint much as a cut might leave a scar. Just as a real fingerprint offers forensic analysts clues to identity, the risk fingerprint offers a window into who each of us is: how we feel about authority and power, about our sense of human agency, how we relate to each other in groups, and broader cultural differences that can make societies particularly risk sensitive or risk blind. It sheds light on what people hope and fear—and why—and how much power they feel they and their leaders have over the world around them.

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