While researching his forthcoming book — Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck — co-author Anthony Tjan made a fascinating discovery: a surprising number of company founders and business-builders attribute much of their success to luck.
There are ways that leaders create their own luck, as listed on the innovation leadership companion post on Innovations & Institutions, Will it Blend. Becoming disconnected on the way to the top, as co-author Anthony Tjan describes, is one way for leaders to lose their luck.
Almost 25% of those we surveyed came out as "luck-dominant" on the Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test we devised; many more gave luck at least partial credit.
...Here's the paradox: Once they have made it to the top — after they've reached high levels of entrepreneurial or corporate success — leaders often become disconnected from the crucial lucky qualities and relationships that helped get them there in the first place. By definition, the top is less of a journey and more of an arrival point. A newfound reputation is difficult to risk.
We've identified seven attributes, and they are among the most difficult ones for leaders to master and maintain. They are: humility, intellectual curiosity, optimism, vulnerability, authenticity, generosity, and openness.
The post defines these and begs the question:
How do leaders reconnect to the reality, attitude, and relationships that can sustain and take their company's excellence to a new place?
Author: Anthony Tjan is CEO, Managing Partner and Founder of the venture capital firm Cue Ball and vice chairman of the advisory firm Parthenon.