Top 10 Ways to Help Welcome THE GRAY RHINO

Top Ten Ways to Add Gray Rhinos to Our Vocabulary

The elephant in the room is the big problem that everyone ignores and assumes nobody will deal with. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s black swan is improbable and unpredictable. A gray rhino similarly is high-impact and neglected. Yet unlike the black swan, gray rhinos are highly likely. And unlike the elephant in the room, gray rhinos are coming right at us, not standing still. Most important, though, is that the gray rhino gives us a choice: to get out of the way or let it trample us.

THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore 
(April 5, 2016) introduces this powerful concept and gives examples and lessons of people who have faced down gray rhinos in business, policy, and life.

I created the gray rhino because the English language needed a more active word that doesn’t take for granted that we will ignore an obvious threat. Now I need your help to make gray rhinos as common a part of our vocabulary as the elephant in the room, the black swan, the see-no-evil monkeys, and the ostrich with its head in the sand.

Having the right word at hand can help to motivate and empower anyone faced with a potential crisis and difficult decisions. By being an early adopter of the gray rhino concept, you will send the message that we can deal with instead of denying avoidable catastrophes in business, society, and life.

Here are some quick and easy ways to add the gray rhinos to our everyday language:

The #grayrhino for Thunderclap

  1. Read a free sample of THE GRAY RHINO on and pass it on to someone who is facing a Gray Rhino or share it on your social networks.
  2. Spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #grayrhino via @wucker. Here are some sample tweets (but feel more than free to make them your own):
    The #grayrhino by @wucker: #riskmanagement strategies to deal with, not deny, the obvious dangers we ignore:
    The #grayrhino is here! Important, provocative new book by @wucker on obvious but neglected #risks.
  3. Leave an online rating and/or review on and/or Goodreads.
  4. Email five (or more!) friends and colleagues about the book. If you have an e-newsletter, mention it in the context of your business. Here’s sample text that you can cut and paste to include:
    I thought you’d find my friend Michele Wucker’s important new book, THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, extremely interesting. A “gray rhino” is a highly probable, high impact yet neglected threat: kin to both the elephant in the room and the improbable and unforeseeable black swan. Though gray rhinos occur after a series of warnings and visible evidence, leaders are surprisingly bad at addressing these obvious dangers before they spiral out of control: climate change, financial crisis, corporate crashes. Michele Wucker shows in The Gray Rhino how to recognize and strategically counter looming high impact threats. Ian Bremmer, President of Eurasia Group, has this to say about the book: “Equally vital for companies and countries, The Gray Rhino serves as a critical reorientation of crisis management strategy and policymaking.” There’s more information at
  5. To tweet or post the images below, right click and “save image as” then upload to your twitter, facebook or other social media account:The #grayrhino for Thunderclap
  6. Recognize or TrampleTell your Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections about THE GRAY RHINO. Here are some sample posts:
    Are you denying or dealing with the obvious dangers in front of you? My friend Michele Wucker’s important new book, THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, tells why we have trouble responding to probable threats and shows how we can do better. Learn more at
    Gray rhinos are the love child of the massive but ignored elephant in the room and the rare, unpredictable black swan. My friend Michele Wucker’s important new book, THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, offers strategies that can make the gray rhino your ally instead of foe. Learn more at The Gray Rhino
  7. Buy a copy of the Gray Rhino on Amazon or Barnes and Noble as a gift for a friend, colleague or student you know. Encourage your company, educational institution or civic organization to invest in buying bulk copies, available via CEO READ.
  8. Work in gray rhino references or the #grayrhino hashtag when you talk, write, or tweet about what keeps you up at night. Here’s a great example from Regina Rodriguez Martin, who says in her blog that the end of her marriage was a gray rhino.
  9. Change your facebook profile to the Gray Rhino cover for a day.
  10. Invite your networks to attend Gray Rhino book events in their cities. As many of you who are connected with me on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter already know, I am spending launch week in NYC with a talk at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble April 6, then heading down to Washington, DC to do a talk at the Foreign Policy Institute April 13. Then I’m back to the Midwest for an event at the Boswell Book Company April 20. I’ll be doing lunch events at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco May 2 and at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs June 13.

Even doing just one or two of these things will make a big difference. Thank you for helping to make gray rhinos part of our vocabulary and draw needed attention to critical but neglected threats in business, life, and the world.