4 tips to manage luck better

Usually we think that luck is some random thing and it’s outside our control. Here are 4 tips to manage luck better

4 tips to manage luck

Usually we think that luck is some random thing. Or some people  think that it is energy from God, Earth, extraterrestrials or energy from Universe. And how it chooses who will have success today we don’t know. So, it’s outside your control.

Business success also consists of luck. So let’s think how we can manage it and use luck to improve our business.

In their book ‘Great by Choice’ authors Jim Collins,teacher of leadership, and Morten T. Hansen, professor at the University of California, studied the role of luck in explaining corporate success. Research suggests that you can indeed manage luck. Great!

You may think that great companies are just luckier than the rest. And you are wrong. Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen analyzed the history of luck events for the companies in a study set. A key finding: the winners and average performers encountered essentially the same number of lucky and unlucky events. The upshot: it’s not the luck you get that counts; it’s what you do with it — your return on luck.

So, the key question is, how can you get a high return on luck at work? Here are 4 tips that will help you to  manage luck better.

1. View life as a flow of luck events

Imagine swimming in a river in which lucky events — good and bad — will flow your way and hit you. It’s neither good nor bad. It is just like that. Come to terms with failure and don’t be afraid of it. When you start having this “luck flow” mindset, you can start managing those events to your advantage, but only once you get the right mindset.


2. Don't prepare for bad-luck events

Rule is simple: don't prepare for unlucky events and don't think negatively. Of course, we cannot always think positive, but expectation of bad things will attract negative to your life and business: your project fails because of someone else’s error, a competitor unexpectedly blows you away with a better product, the new CEO downplays your product area, a medical condition derails your plans.

It doesn't mean that you should not plan your actions in case of some failures. The best leaders prepared for bad-luck events by building reserves (e.g., cash on the balance sheet), take an earlier flight to that meeting or add two extra days to the next deadline. Just don’t go in cycles with unlucky things.


3. Spot good-luck events when they come

Author's’ guess is that more good-luck events happen to us than we think, small and large.The problem is that good-luck events often reveal themselves in ambiguous, trivial ways at first, which can make them hard to detect. And it’s not enough just to spot a good-luck event; you also need to be prepared to alter your plans to act on it.

Here Morten T. Hansen gives example for readers. “Recently, I messed up a good-luck event. While on a trip to my home country Norway, I was given an opportunity to go on Norwegian television to talk about our new book. But, alas, my flight was booked for that morning, so I couldn’t take the opportunity”, he wrote.

The best leaders are good at applying the “zoom out, then zoom in” principle. Instead of looking at the event at the ground level (“flight plan”), I should have zoomed out and asked, what is my main objective? (“share the book with the world”), then zoomed in and executed (“quick, lock in the television appearance and change that ticket”).

The upshot: when confronted with a luck event, small or large, take a moment to think what you really need.


4. Execute brilliantly on good-luck events

This tip authors also explain with examples.

In 1949, in Venice, Italy, the then largely unknown opera singer Maria Callas had a great good-luck event. The lead singer for the role Elvira had fallen ill, and the 26-year-old Callas got the part. And when that moment came, she rose to the occasion — and a star was born.

AMD got a stroke of good luck when its archrival, Intel, ran into problems with a glitch in its Pentium computer chip. But at that moment, AMD failed to bring its K5 microprocessor to market in time.

You must prepare intensively, commit all the resources you can, and be maniacal about execution when the good-luck moments arrive.

You might look at some startups with envy and say, “hey, they just got really lucky.” But perhaps instead they just got a high return on luck. And that is within your control.

Luck is not the only thing for success.There are a lot of different factors influencing your business. Read these 10 inspiring stories about startups and learn from the best

Good luck to you!

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