Who Needs Luck?

By Jillian Heddaeus, CMP

I’m not much of one for “luck”. Good luck or bad luck, it just doesn’t hold much weight for me. Luck as defined by Webster’s dictionary is “things that happen to a person because of chance, the accidental way things happen without being planned.”

To me, luck is better defined by Seneca. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

No matter what the objective or goal is, personal or professional; there are steps you can take to increase your chances of success.


Jillian and Peggy Seigler, Classmates in the Institute for Organizational Management program presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

1. Define the Objective

What is the goal; or what objective you are trying to achieve?

Do you have the knowledge, experience or resources to reasonably meet that goal?

2. Preparation

You should always have a plan.

Be specific. You can’t execute on a generic plan. It takes preparation, time and resources to achieve success. In gymnastics, I say, it’s about taking good turns. No matter where you are in the learning process, you must use the knowledge and skills you already have to perform your best attempts at each skill each time you practice them.

In my professional world I live for facts, numbers and checklists. The implementation of checklists has produced large positive influences in the fields of aviation and medicine. If you need any convincing, I would highly recommend The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande. (http://atulgawande.com/book/the-checklist-manifesto/)

3. Opportunity

With any opportunity there are always variables that may arise. The difference becomes how well have you prepared for them, how you handle them and how you work through them.

4. Evaluate Your “Luck”

When it is all said and done, were you successful in achieving your objective.

Preparation is a key to success in any endeavor. Just as important is the plan and your recognition of the gaps in the plan which can contribute to your failures. Military fighter pilots debrief after every mission to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunity for improvement.

This introspection is key to ensuring future success.

If at first you don’t succeed, modify the plan, prepare and try again. Good luck!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s