What Place Does Luck Have In Business?

What does it mean when someone wishes you 'the best of luck' for your interview, your pitch or your appraisal? Sometimes it's offered ironically, sometimes with sincerity; some people who offer up these kind of sentiments do so in full consciousness and awareness while others might be using the phrase purely out of habit...you may even be one of those who wish people luck yourself...

...but what does it do for the mindset of an individual when they have worked hard, prepared diligently and done everything as professionally as they are able in advance of whatever interview or panel awaits them to be wishes 'luck'?

Luck is happenstance. Luck is arbitrary and unplanned. Luck is the throw of a die or finding money in the street. Luck is not something you can give, or receive from another.

Now, I know that your conscious mind is very well aware of the nature of fortune, and probably discounts these throwaway lines about luck as a matter of course, but your unconscious mind may not be so well versed in the ways of the world, and may take the notion of luck more seriously, creating a feeling of matters being out with your control, so 'you needn't try too hard; it all comes down to luck.'

Often in sport people refer to their luck being in or out, golfers talking about not getting the rub of the green, archers telling others (and themselves) that it just wasn't their lucky day and so on, but famously, when someone mentioned having a lucky day on the golf course to Gary Player, that great man quoted Coleman Cox by saying 'the harder I work, the luckier I get'.

In a business context, and particularly when creating or nurturing a coaching culture, it might pay to start paying attention to how often luck is mentioned and in what context, with a view to changing the cultural language to one that embodies that idea of 'work harder, get luckier'.

Perhaps when you stop talking about luck you'll encourage yourself and those around you to stop trusting to luck.

I'd wish you luck with that....but then again...

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