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Smart Advice – July 21, 2010

Advice from the Top

Duncan MacNaughton, chairman, MacNaughton Group Properties | Photo: David Croxford

When should a young executive take a risk? 

Take a chance after conferring with a small group of advisers; venture with people you trust and respect. And take bigger chances when
you are young and have limited responsibilities for others.

What was your biggest gamble as a young businessman and what did you learn?

I built a large warehouse for a startup retailer founded by two individuals, but I took the time to get to know them well before making the gamble. I also engaged my friendly banker with these individuals and my banker was part of my due-diligence team. I have learned to believe in my instincts and to establish an alternate use/exit for the investment.

What role does risk play in a business-person’s career?

Good risk takers are energetic, knowledgeable and humble individuals who will earn the respect of those in the “room.”  Smart risk takers will achieve their goals faster and will enjoy the ride. It is never too late to study risk and execute an opportunity, but engage your community of advisers in the analysis. Then, get the young and energetic talent who are brighter than yourself to execute.

Advice From the Top

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