I work with many CEOs who lament they and their business can never catch a lucky break. It just seems that their competitors always get the leg up with new opportunities, and they have to work so hard just to keep up.
“What do those lucky CEOs have that I don’t?” they ask.
It turns out that lucky executives aren’t lucky. They actually have an ability to turn business odds – as well as life odds – into their favor. It is an actual skill, according to research by Richard Wiseman, Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.
Professor Wiseman ran a multitude of different studies on self-described “lucky” people and people who called themselves “unlucky”. In one of his more unconventional experiments, he dropped a $20 bill in the street, and found that the “lucky” people noticed and picked it up far more often than the “unlucky” people. How is that possible?
Lucky people are not magical magnets for new opportunities and good fortune.
They have a unique ability that that differentiates them – the ability to be more open to their environment both physically and emotionally. They carry themselves throughout their day with their eyes and minds wide open. They discover the $20 because they are aware and present in the moment, and thus are more likely to actually see the $20.
They are receptive to interacting with others – even those with whom they cannot immediately identify a discernable benefit. They leave their biases, fears, and anything else that can interfere with their ability to take in all new input, behind.
They use that ability to leverage Wiseman’s four main principles of luck:
- Maximizing chance opportunities
- Listening to your intuition
- Expecting good fortune
- Turning bad luck to good
I recently worked with a client whose niche sport product business was being commoditized by a changing industry landscape, where retailers were going out of business and low online prices seemed to become increasingly more important to the consumer. We decided to drop our preexisting biases and open our eyes to looking at his industry from a different perspective.
We realized that concurrent with a consumer focus on lowest price, there was also a huge frustration with the consumer’s inability to view and enjoy the niche sport’s video content online.
By changing his online product site to an online content site, and forming key content partnerships with industry colleagues he had been open to meet in the past before he realized they would be useful to him, we were able to draw in more consumers and consequently more revenue.
Your business’s lucky break doesn’t have to happen. It is waiting to happen.
Having the open eyes to see it, the open mind to identify it, and the courage to implement it, is all the encouragement your lucky break needs.