The Element of Luck

Can you make your own luck? Can you deal with some failure in order to create success?

There is an interesting interview up on Wired.CO.UK  with Frans Johansson, the author of the new book The Click Moment.

I want to point to one interesting question and response which reminded me that not only do individuals need a “growth mindset” to be successful which I have written about before, but companies and teams do as well.

You have to be willing to make your way through some failure in order to get to the point of success.  Here’s the question and answer:

“What sort of people do you need for this kind of approach?
You need a passionate team that has the wherewithal to stick with it through the inevitable mistakes they’ll make. This requires companies to reward output instead of punishing failure. Action matters more than sitting and running numbers. If you decrease the cost of failure you will see that people’s risk tolerance will go up.”

The implication for coaches is clear. Celebrate risk taking, create a culture in which your athletes try new things, see the effort and intent over the outcome and you will end up with a team willing to learn, to explore, to get out of the comfort zone.

I do not mean this in a vacuous way where praise is without meaning, but rather when the consequences are real, winning and losing are on the line, hold steady to your principles. When success comes later, even if it appears to be separate, the ability to stay the course will have mattered.  To some degree you made your own luck, by the ability to stay the course through the difficult.

For instance, in that tight game when an athlete tries something you have been working on for weeks and fails. Acknowledge that courage even if you need to suggest the alternatives within the context of that particular game.

Make it safe to grow.


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