Is Leadership a Matter of Skill or Luck?


Some people are just born lucky. Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Some people – everyone loves them – and I don’t know why.

Have you ever heard someone say one of those lines? Or perhaps, you’ve caught yourself saying or thinking it.

Episode 214 of theSilReview covers the topic of “luck” in leadership. Is leadership a matter of luck or a matter of skill?

There are times in life when everything seems to go wrong, and you look around and wonder, “How does <insert a name here> do it?!?”.

As you go through life, through your leadership journey, it seems that you are not making any progress. You’re putting in the effort but you’re not getting anything out of it. And you look at other people, and it seems that everything is happening for them. And you’re tempted to think “They’re so lucky! When am I going to get lucky?!?!”.

Here to answer the question is George Clason, in his book “The Richest Man in Babylon”. Although it was written in 1926, it still rings true today. One of my mentors described it as the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” equivalent before Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter came out with their series.

As you know, as I read the many books on my list, I extract lessons learned on leadership from each one. The lesson that stood out to me was found in this quote:

“Men of action are favored by the goddess of good luck”.

You see, it might seem that some people are lucky. The truth is, ANYONE can be lucky. You can be lucky too. It’s a matter of what action are you taking.

Luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

So start preparing!

As a leader, taking ownership and responsibility for your journey is key! There are always opportunities presenting themselves to you. Are you prepared to take advantage of them?

If you are not preparing yourself, you will never be lucky.

Think – what can you do today to be noticed for that leadership opportunity tomorrow (or next year)?

When I started my career in corporate America, I knew that I wanted to work at my company’s Paris location. So as soon as there was a job opening there in my field, I applied. I did not meet the qualifications, but I applied anyways. I wanted to capture the attention of the CEO, CFO and hiring manager at that site. I wanted them to remember me for the next time when I apply.

I was preparing myself for that future opportunity. By the time the position had opened the next time, I applied armed with personal letters of recommendations from another company CEO and CFO. I created my own luck.

How are you creating your luck?

A lot of the opportunities that have come my way in the entrepreneurial realm– from training former NFL and MLB players, leading leadership training at Fortune 200 companies – were not overnight successes. They were years and months in the making.

If you want to be a leader in the future, start investing in your leadership journey now. Start reading books, connecting with mentors and investing in programs, such as Be Fearless. As you prepare yourself, opportunities will show up. And you will be able to take advantage of those opportunities.

People will look at you and think “overnight success” or “gosh, she’s so lucky”.

And you’ll know the truth. There was a lot of preparation beforehand. Luck came in the form of work.

So, what are you doing to prepare?

You can watch the live broadcast below:

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