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Luck By Design

August 10, 2012

Posted in: Pathways, Performance

Bad Luck

This past week I attended the annual Global Leadership Summit. One of this year’s speakers was Jim Collins, author of books including Good to Great, Built to Last and his latest work, Great By Choice. In his speech, Jim spoke on one of the book’s themes – luck.

Luck. Part of his work was devoted to the study of good luck, bad luck and how business leverages luck to their advantage.

Jim’s speech got me thinking about luck.

Luck – just feels so….empty, maybe even a bit meaningless, certainly without hope. And if it is, then, just luck that I might be lucky enough to come by, how then can I move forward confidently? After all, if it’s just by the random, arbitrary roll of the dice of life what’s the point of trying?

I would suggest a different word – appointment- a Divine Appointment. But with the word appointment, comes an inference that there are at least two parties involved.  The one who made the appointment and the one who attends. The one who attends determines how the appointment will proceed.

It’s a choice in pathway and performance.

Never has that been more aptly illustrated than in these recent Olympic games where one athlete, Morgan Uceny fell in the 1500 meter final.

  1. She had no involvement in it. She was running just like everyone else.
  2. It carried with it potentially significant consequences
  3. It took her by surprise

The back luck of this in my view is only a fork in the road, when the long, long view is taken. The moment is crushing, the unimaginable disappointment, the overwhelming sense of loss, regret, and just pure anger at the randomness of it all. Why would a God do such a thing?

Each of us is given moments in business and in our lives. We can view them as moments that take away something from us or moments that we choose to see as opportunity. But while we focus on the moments that are tragic, the euphoric, the seemingly significant, it is the every day moment that carries with it as much potential. We are given appointment with God and with that we are given the gift to choose if we respond in reaction to it, or if we use it with the knowledge that it was gifted to us to use for lesson and encouragement to others.


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