Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 7, 2013

Daredevil Risk Taking and Tooth Fairies

Throughout our political and business histories, there have been daredevil risk takers. You may believe that they have a devil-may-care attitude to life, and that they had no concern and care for their own lives and safety of their followers. Maybe you also believe there are Tooth Fairies in your bedroom too.

I'll demonstrate only 3 examples.

Hernán Cortés or Pizarro

Hernán Cortés or Pizarro

The myth is : Cortez and his troops were landing at an enemy territory where they were greatly outnumbered and he ordered his troops to burn the ships.

The truth: he merely scuttled them. Even then, in order to prevent mutiny. And he had taken a special care of the ship building crew.

Bayinnaung Kyawhtin Nawrahta

In Myanmar history, Bayint Naung is well known for his over-confident promise to his King. The King had asked him to wait for his arrival before they began a decisive battle. Bayint Naung asked the messengers to tell the King that they had already won the battle. When his staff questioned his over-confident promise,  Bayint Naung replied that any king cannot blame the troops that have already perished! And before they crossed a river, he asked his troops to burn their boats and rafts, a la Cortez / Pizzaro style.

Was he making a point to the mercenaries under his command to fight to win?

He couldn't swim back to this side of the river, of course. But did he know palces where he and his troops re-locate on the other side, like Douglas MacArthur and the Japanese in the Philippines?

Please check out logistic plans in his Thailand campaigns. I just cannot believe Bayint Naung would act cool without some insurance.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson is the founder and head of the Virgin Group of more than 400 companies. He himself has explained on many occasions that before he placed any bet, he ensured that
  1. They are not betting the farm. He even made sure that his employers would not suffer when their bet miscarried.
  2. They decreased their downside.
  3. They increased their upside.
Is that daredevil risk-taking?


  1. Nice article! I've noticed that when I take risks, it really focuses me, and I will perform better because of the focus. Maybe I need to learn how to use that focus even in times of little or no risk...

    1. Thank you very much, Carl.

      Focus is beneficial and we should maintain it as you said, risk or nor risk.

      BTW, I am re-focusing my blog soon, in the middle of Feburary.