Have you ever thought about what it will take for you and
each one of us to reach the American Dream of the pursuit
of happiness, fulfilled life and liberty (equality, rights and
justice under law)?
So much is heavily weighted on how the privileged have
advantages. The fact remains that outside of that, luck and
skill play roles for ourselves and our careers.
We have talked about practicing and putting in the time and
energy to master skills where in the end
success = potential * serendipity [LUCK]
We have mentioned Jim Collins’s concept of Return on
Luck, in other words, when good fortune happens what you
do with it. He also strategizes on how you plan for and
Building on these is a nice piece by Bob Frank in NYTimes
Are you successful, where he cites
+ Mona Lisa became famous after an Italian maintenance
employee at the Louvre stole it and it was recaptured LUCK
+ Statistical correlation between Economics professors
where manuscript authorship is in alphabetical order giving
lead authors faster recognition LUCK
+ Your country of origin and even your month of birth
can correlate in the past with different success measure
To me M Mauboussin’s piece gave me a moment to pause,
as he asked three questions in relation to the relative
importance of luck and skill-
1- can you accurately predict an outcome and from a set of
starting conditions /influences? If so, is it easy to implement or
easy- SKILL dominates; challenge- LUCK may.
2- what is the frequency of ‘reversion to the mean’ outcomes?
low- SKILL high- LUCK or external influences
3- can forecasters predict outcomes consistently?
yes- SKILL no- LUCK, or bad question or phrasing
Being able to look at any outcome and appreciate the
contributions of others, nonetheless will influence
attitudes and future opportunities in striking ways.
Look at every chance to express your appreciation
for that will be an influence.
LUCK = preparation + attitude + opportunity + action