I spoke with a prospective client recently who interrupted me to say, “This sounds like all the books. Tell me something specific.”

First of all, the wheel has been invented and people most likely to fail are those trying to re-invent it. Yes, there is always room for improvement. That is one of my core principles!

But many managers and CEOs want approaches that aren’t “in the books”. Why? Do they prefer risk to success? Apparently so.

My first objective when handling other people’s money, even when paying me for advice, is to minimize risk. I want results. I’m happy with small, positive moves forward that build into bigger and bigger victories. CEOs generally prefer to bet the farm on their ‘brilliance’. They have no idea that their last big success has a huge component of luck hidden within it. And if they fail? They jump with the golden parachute. What’s to lose?

Beware the Black Swan. Improve but do not re-invent the wheel unless you have piles of your own cash to burn. It will burn. I want to get more out of that burn than a little heat.

Chris Reich