The Good Luck Myth

It never ceases to amaze me when moderately successful people attribute their wins to luck. “I was just in the right place at the right time.” “I just got lucky this time.”

Have you found yourself falling into this trap? It seems fairly innocuous but it is a sign that a deeper problem exists. Attributing our success to an outside “force,” inoculates us against the more painful task of accepting responsibility for our failures.

As managers, salespeople, and leaders, we will have our fair share of successes. We should be humble. But never forget who closed that deal or trained that team. Luck is oppurtunity coupled with preperation. When we fail we can say “What is there to learn from this? What can I do better next time?”

But never can we attribute it to bad luck.

The Profit Equation

Profit=revenue-cost. In order for profits to grow, costs must be cut. You must manage cost, reduce cost. This is the most obvious way to handle the Profit Equation. Many companies do this. Your company may be doing this. Companies downsize, outsource, improve technology to make the organization more efficient, more profitable. Cut costs to the bone. But at what cost? For what gain? Do these anorexic companies really increase profits? No. They stay in the game. They stay in business. But cost cutting is not enough to be the best.

The way to really increase profits is to alter another part of the equation. We must increase revenue. I know what your thinking, “Thanks, bud. Real helpful.” But with costs being slashed companies must sell more. We then are faced with the question, “How do we increase sales?” We can try to sell more of the same old thing. But if we really want to see double digit growth, something more needs to be done.

New products. New services. What does the consumer want? Innovation and creativity. One person at 3M was disappointed when his adhesive was not sticky enough. One saw the product that went on to define life in the cubicles for billions. Post-it notes. Recognizing opportunity, being creative, owning our lives…this will be the hallmark of the new economy. Winners will see every failure as a chance to create something fantastic.

It may not be very attractive to you, but in business, family, ministry (insert any other community you can come up with) to be successful, even to survive, change must occur. Who we are, what we do, how we do it…We must deconstruct these concepts and start fresh; start anew. Change or die. Stagnation will lead to failure. What do you need to change in your life, family, business, etc. in order to be more effective.

Profit=Creativity +Innovation

Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game—Kevin Hogan, James Speakman.

Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game—Kevin Hogan, James Speakman.

While the title may sound sinister, this book is really about how to communicate. It deals with bypassing the critical, biased, defensive part of the brain and getting your point heard, getting your product sold, getting your intended result. It is written in an incredibly practical format with tips to put into practice at work or in your personal life as soon as you read them.

On a More Civil Discourse

If you believe the candidates and pundits you know that depending on your political preference that you hate…

Poor people, rich people, working people, unemployed people, taxes, spending, saving, the middle class, minorities, immigrants, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and every other political topic under the sun…

That being said, I have to wonder why all of this hostility exists. As your friend and mine once said, “Can’t we all just get along?” We are a nation in need of reconciliation.
It is time that the bloggers, pundits, candidates, and voters recognized that most people have the sames basic principles. Everyone wants the poor to be taken care of. Everyone wants our nation to be safe. Everyone wants our economy to thrive. So on and so forth…
So again, why all the hostility? If we want the same things how is it that we argue so much? Why is it always characterized as such vast differences between us?

The differences are real. They are vast. But we must recognize that those who disagree with us usually have the same goal. A controversial but simple example is abortion. Everyone values life. The disagreement is whether or not a fetus is a life. No one really thinks murder for convenience is ok or that people shouldn’t have control of their own lives.

Please remember as you listen to your friends, family, relatives and enemies that while they may want to do the exact opposite of what you want to “save the children” (or any other popular political position) they still do really want to save the children. Cut them some slack and kill the personal attacks.