Risk Managers MUST be Humble
Once you think of it, it seems obvious. Risk Managers need humility.
If you are dealing with any killer physical risk, there are two types of people who work close to that risk, the humble and the dead.
Being humble means that you never lose sight of the fact that RISK may at any time rise up in some new and unforeseen way and kill you or your firm.
Risk managers should read the ancient Greek story of Icarus.
Risk managers without humility will suffer the same fate.
Humility means remembering that you must do every step in the risk management process, every time. The World Cup goalkeeper Robert Green who lets an easy shot bounce off of his hands and into the goal has presumed that they do not need to consciously attend to the mundane task of catching the ball. They can let their reflexes do that and their mind can move on to the task of finding the perfect place to put the ball next.
But they have forgotten their primary loss prevention task and are focusing on their secondary offense advancement task.
The risk managers with humility will be ever watchful. They will be looking for the next big unexpected risk. They will not be out there saying how well that they are managing the risks, they will be more concerned about the risks that they are unprepared for.
Risk managers who are able to say that they have done all that can be done, who have taken all reasonable precautions, who can help their firm to find the exact right level and mix of risks to optimize the risk reward of the firm are at serious risk of having the wax holding their feathers melt away and of falling to earth.
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