I’ve read several good articles on how to increase your ROI. I’ve also read some not so great articles on the subject. But today I’d like to discuss how to increase your ROL. Haven’t heard of that one? It’s a Jim Collins term referring to your Return on Luck! Yes, you heard that right, Your Return on Luck.
Now I can hear those of you out there in blog land laughing while you shake your heads and say, “Luck? Who makes business decisions based on luck?” And then, “Luck is luck, you can’t increase or decrease your effect on it.” Ah, but I beg to differ, and so would Mr. Collins, I believe.
First, we have to admit that there are two types of luck – both good and bad. Then we have to accept Mr. Collins’ definition of luck. Here’s what he says, my translation, luck involves three unique things: 1) you didn’t cause it; 2) it has potentially significant consequences; and 3) it involves some sense of surprise.
He reports that in most of the companies he studies that went from good to Great, the CEO’s would say it was good luck if their company really succeeded, and would take the blame if their company did worse than expected. He saw this as another form of humility among those “level 5 leaders.”
So can we increase our Return on Luck by adapting our strategies for both good luck and bad? I think we not only can, but need to – just so we are prepared. For instance, what do we do if the widget we’re selling catches on, production ramps up and we are now multi-gazillionaires? We need to have a plan in place before that happens that helps us deal with that level of success.
In the other extreme, what do we do if the non-profit we’ve formed to end hunger in one generation just doesn’t get the funding it needs to get off the ground – and that great idea is pushed to the back of the shelf to gather more dust? We need to have a contingency plan in place also before that situation occurs.
So, the question becomes, how do we deal with it when we get hit with it? Either good or bad, how are we going to deal with it? We’ve heard stories of people who win a lottery or some other windfall lands in their lap and they have nothing in their system that will allow them to cope with a new way of living. I know, many of us say, “We’d really like to see what that’s like!” But if we don’t have something in place to help us deal with wealth, it might lead to our undoing.
And as you head up your organization, or your part of your organization, or let’s just get to the bottom line since we all are responsible for the organization of You, Inc. – what plans do you have in place to handle either good luck or bad luck as CEO of You, Inc.?
Does your good fortune lead you to being more humble or do you take all the credit and the limelight? Do your negative circumstances cause you to search for new and better ways of doing what you do, or do they cause you to become cynical and give up?
Here’s the rub: the choice is yours when it comes to how you react to either good or bad luck.
So you tell me – how will you respond luck shows up?