Luck Has Nothing to Do with It

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us, the concept of luck and how people associate it with success in business got me thinking.

How many times have you heard a successful business leader say their success is “just luck”?  They may feel as though they were in the right place at the right time, or an opportunity just came their way.   Anyone who has achieved their own business or career success knows there is no such thing as an overnight sensation!  Success doesn’t just fall in your lap.  You have work to do to prepare yourself.

In an Inc Magazine article, author, Eric Holtzclaw, said

To claim that you are just “lucky” is
a disservice to those considering following an entrepreneurial path.
If success is just based on luck,
then small business owners have no control over their eventual success
and “being unlucky” becomes
an excuse for failure or choosing never to start.”

Richard Branson shares a similar, yet different view.  In fact, Branson says “people and businesses that are generally considered fortunate or luckier than others are usually also the ones that are prepared to take the greatest risks and, by association, are also prepared to fall flat on their faces every so often.”  He goes on to say “You can’t get lucky if you’re playing it safe.”

Luck ispreparationmeetingOpportunityI know I don’t attribute career or business success to luck.  In fact, I believe that luck is the result of making decisions and taking action!

One client I worked with started her path to change by making the decision to seek external help.  I was the person she decided to work with during the transition phase.  These two steps, decision and action, lead her to identify gaps in her team which she addressed, systems that were not working for the team or for her business, and clarified the results she wanted to achieve.  Our collaboration resulted in set expectations for client interactions by each team member, development of tools and resources to assist in improving client retention and to boost sales.  This didn’t happen overnight, and at the end, she indicated she “felt lucky that I came along to help turn things around”.  Her determination, hard work and a willingness to make tough decisions and take action lead to her new success, I was just there to help her remain accountable to herself and her goals.

In the well known book, Good to Great, Jim Collins shares his insights on luck.  He says luck is part of pattern he coins “the window and the mirror“.  He explains Level 5 leaders (individuals who let go of their ego and self-interest while being very ambitious and focused on their organization), will

look out of the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck).  At the same time they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.

If you want to enjoy your own luck, now or in the future,

  • recognize what you have accomplished to date and
  • recognize the steps you must take to prepare yourself to be ready to capitalize on opportunities that present thomas-jefferson-luck-wallpapers_18165_1024x768themselves to you.
  • build a good network of like minded people, such as a mastermind group, to keep you focused and moving forward.
  • consider working with a Coach to raise the bar and
  • be willing to take risks and stretch out of your comfort zone!

Are you ready to take action?  

Book your complimentary Ignite Call to explore how we can help you to build your own luck!

Girls to School Project – An Update

If you follow my blogs on a frequent basis, you probably know that I have a strong desire to include a ‘give-back’ program in my business.  Giving back is, in my opinion, an important component of any business and their corporate social responsibility (CSR).  Corporate social responsibility offers a business a wonderful opportunity to connect with their community.  Employees and customers are becoming very discerning about which companies they align with.  CSR is one area that I believe should be included in every business, no matter how big or small. [Read more…]

3 R’s of Goals – Will You Be Prepared?

We are now 8 1/2 months into 2012 —

have you completed at least seventy five percent of your annual goals?

August is always a great time to review what you have accomplished so far  and to consider what changes are needed to meet your annual goals.  My strategic goals are such an important component in my business success.  My strategic  goals  are the longer term goals that I want to achieve in the coming year.  Each quarter I create quarterly, and then monthly goals which will keep me on track and focused on what I want to achieve while I maintain a successful business and continually introduce new tools, programs and products. [Read more…]

LIfe is Full of Turbulence

Today at the Olympics, Canadian swimmer bronze medalist, Brent Hayden, won the bronze  medal in the men’s 100m freestyle.  In his post event interview, Hayden said life is full of turbulence but you have to build bridges and when you have a strong foundation you cross the bridge and cut through the turbulence. [Read more…]

Bad Decision or On-Track?

Today I have heard a lot of discussion on the radio surrounding the Hockey Hall of Fame announcements and the induction of  Pavel Bure – a former Vancouver Canuck.   Pavel Bure was recruited by the Vancouver Canucks just prior to his defection from the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s.  Pavel was known as “The Russian Rocket” and demonstrated his phenomenal skill while wearing the Canucks uniform. (sidebar:  I was thrilled to have watched him live on several occasions).

Pavel wasn’t a typical Canuck in that he wasn’t a major contributor to the community.  In my opinion, the Vancouver Canucks have set a high expectation on their team, and management, and their participation in community and charity efforts.  This can be quite different than other teams who have a lower bar in place.  Add to that, Pavel’s rocky departure from the Canucks.  Two years ago, Vancouver retired the jerseys of three key players in Canucks history and added others to a newly created Ring of Honour.  Pavel was not chosen for either.

At the time, I remember writing a blog post on how honourees were chosen.  Hockey skill,  leadership, community (social) and team contributions were all key factors.  Each of the players chosen unquestionably met each of these criteria.  Roll ahead to today.  Pavel Bure was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.  He was arguably one of the best goal scorers of all time, so from that perspective a good inductee choice.  Sportscasters spent the day questioning why Bure hadn’t had his jersey retired or been added to the Ring of Honour.

How does this hockey story apply to you as a business person?
If you have established criteria for a particular role or recognition award that reflects your values, do you ignore some of those values and only focus on one component of the criteria to recognize an employee or co-worker?
I contend that an organization is only truly successful when their values are integrated into every aspect of their business activities.  These values are not just words on a wall, but living and breathing components of every action embraced and demonstrated by all levels of the organization.

I have been working with a client of mine on a project where the work we were doing had to truly integrate the four key values of the organization.  This made our work so interesting and provided a great “bar” to measure our work against.  It added life to what otherwise may not be “alive”.  Over the past year while I have been working on changes within my own business I have become very clear on my own values and they have become strong determinants in deciding what work to take on, who I work with, what I do and what I wish to project to others.

Are you really clear on your own personal values?  Do you know the values of your business (or those of your employer’s business)?  Are these values integrated into every component of the organizations activities, culture and decisions?  If no, why not?

Next Steps
1.  Become very clear on what your personal values are?  Evaluate how these values fit with your employer or business values.
2.  Identify ways to integrate the values of your business/organization into decision making, actions and the overall culture.
3.  Take steps to recognize when values, decisions and actions are all in alignment!  How does that look/feel and what does it mean to you and your team?

So, should Pavel Bure have his jersey retired?  I don’t think so because he didn’t embrace all of the components so important to and reflected in Canucks who embraced their values and culture.

And Your Answer Is…?

Can a Coach Help You Succeed?

Is a Coach Right for You?

As I have been growing my new business, I have been asked by many people why a person would hire a coach, and what I bring to the table that would benefit my clients.  These are great questions and ones worth responding to… so I am taking the liberty to respond in this article.

What is a Coach?
According the the Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey, “Executive coaching means regular meetings between a business leader and a trained facilitator, designed to produce positive changes in business behavior in a limited time frame.”  Sherpa also indicates that business coaching is the new term for business consulting, whereby the Coach works to develop a clients knowledge and skill.  Regardless of which type of coach you want, a coach will facilitate a positive change on a set schedule in a limited time period.   A Life Coach focuses on your personal life and relationships, rather than on business activities and business behaviour. [Read more…]

Will Change Hurt or Help?

In my work, I am always dealing with change.  It may be helping clients to implement new systems, facing behaviours that are not working for them, creating new products/services, starting a new business or switching jobs (or careers).  No matter how we look at it, change is a constant.  There are many commonalities in how business owners, leaders, organizations and industries are dealing with this reality but there are also many differences.  Some organizations are internalizing the changes (looking inward and identifying ways to restructure, identify efficiencies, and plan for the future), while other organizations are looking outward for support and ideas in addition to looking inward.  It doesn’t matter if the organization is large or small, there are examples of both approaches in each category. [Read more…]

Is Achieving Great Success A Leadership Prerequisite?

I was listening to a Sports Radio station in the car a few days ago.  The discussion centered around different leaders in sports and their accomplishments — number of “Rings” or medals.  In each situation, the people identified by the hosts were great athletes and deserved the accolades for their accomplishments. They also were leaders on their team.  When trying to determine which athlete was a better leader, much of the discussion centered around their achievements on the field, in the ring or on ice. [Read more…]

Lead Grow Succeed

The past couple of weeks have been a challenge for me as I try to balance competing priorities.  It is an exciting time as my business continues to grow and develop both in the ways I set out to achieve last year and in ways I hadn’t even considered!.  During my networking meetings I have heard so many professionals and business owners speaking on the challenges they face in their lives, career and business.  I am sure you can relate to this.

While at the BC Home & Garden Show in February, TV personality Bryan Baeumler spoke about the success and failures of home “do-it-yourselfers”.  His take is that most DIY’ers make more mistakes than successes because they don’t go far enough.  Instead they focus on the “pretty”, leaving a rat’s nest in place – untouched. [Read more…]

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