The element of luck is often cited in business and careers and here at Optimize we subscribe to the fact that success in a career or in business comes from three key ingredients – the golden triangle of Hard Work, Smarts and Luck.
Whilst the first two elements are tangible and can be influenced, the third element is the wild card. As Larry King once said “Those who have succeeded at anything and don’t mention luck are kidding themselves”. Some people hold to the suggestion that you can “make your own luck”. But how much of making your own luck is good risk management, the ability to seize an opportunity that others miss, to connect random circumstances to identify a cohesive whole or is there just this unseen force (patented by the Irish) which exists in the world? Luck or randomness is an inescapable factor in all walks of life. Is being in the right place at the right time luck or is it the result of anticipating an opportunity that others have not seen?
Well, there is no doubt that certain good fortune appears to happen to people and businesses through no direct intent or action of their own. By complementing hard work with personal rituals, like wearing a lucky tie, entrepreneurs can shape a mindset for seizing opportunity. With a combination of intuition, preparedness, networking, and resilience, they can create and recognize serendipitous encounters, and capitalize on them.
Now we are not suggesting that you build your strategy and plans around the hope that you get some luck but perhaps the thing that overcomes bad luck and creating good luck is doing the right things and doing them in the right way. You need the other two elements of our golden triangle to be successful – putting in the effort and making smart choices but if you focus on the things you can influence, then the intangibles will often look after themselves.
Ensuring that you spend sufficient time planning and identifying linkages and connections in your situation, recognizing cause and effect and refining your strategy are critical roles of the leader and effective manager so don’t treat this work as something to fit in when you are not busy. Great planning leads, within a situation that you have taken time to understand, to actionable ideas that get executed.
Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you must, but we wouldn’t recommend it because you need to remember that it didn’t work for the rabbit.