Do you feel lucky?

Today of all days, we would all like a bit of luck…

“Some great people are leaders and others are more lucky, in the right place at the right time. I’d put myself in the latter category.” Steve Wozniak


For all the talk of great strategy and killer execution, some of the biggest and most successful business minds of this century place their success in a somewhat unlikely column.




From the founders of HP and IBM, to Richard Branson and countless others, when asked about their success they quickly assert that no magic or especially brilliant strategy was responsible – it was really just luck.


In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins also found the executives of the companies he researched found luck to be an important factor. “When asked to name the top five factors in his company’s transformation, ranked by importance”, Alan Wurtzel from electronics giant Circuit City “gave a surprising answer: The number one factor was luck. ‘We were in a great industry, with the wind at our backs’…”.


But are people more lucky than others (or does it just seem that way)? And why do some people see themselves as lucky while others see exactly the opposite?


It’s a matter of perspective.


A collaeague of mine, like many, lost a bundle when Opes Prime collapsed. But instead of cursing his bad luck, he instead looked at all the great things he had going in his life and decided that what others would have seen as bad luck was actually fortunate, because it made him look at his priorities with fresh eyes.


Today he is involved in a whole range of exciting new endeavours that he might never have seen if he hadn’t had the good luck of Opes Prime’s meltdown.


There are hundreds and thousands of things that go right every day – where we are lucky. But too often we let one thing sour our thinking. This article from Ode Magazine gives another way to look at the adundance of luck to be found in the everyday.


Now, for the record I am no fan of books like The Secret that propose that just by thinking something will happen, the universe will make it so. But the wealth of research, articles and books on the benfits of keeping a positive mindset are hard to ignore.


From life, to business, to health and happiness, staying positive has been proven to have many benefits. “Being lucky” can be counted as just one more.


For a couple of additional takes on the role of luck in business and life, check out these links:

  • Do entrepreneurs need good luck? Read on
  • For a mother lode of articles about luck and business go here.
  • A couple of related blogs are here and here.


To finish, here is a quote from Frank Sinatra, a person who many looked at as being lucky in life. “People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.”


See you next week!



Alignment is Michel’s passion. Through her work with Brandology here in Australia, and Brand Alignment Group in the United States, she helps organisations align who they are, with what they do and say to build more authentic and sustainable brands.

For more Cultural Leadership blogs, click here.



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