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Why We Succeed: Leadership and Luck

David Lykken
Oct 20, 2014

Sometimes, people get lucky. We all know the person who just ends up being in the right place at the right time. We've all heard of the person who strikes it rich overnight with some obscure invention. And there's usually someone that walks away with that multi-million dollar winning lottery ticket in hand. And, when we hear stories like these, it can be quite easy to become envious.

We want to be lucky, don't we? We want to have some of that good luck rain down on us. And we spend much of our times crossing our fingers and hoping to strike it rich. But, in the end, I think we're counting on the wrong thing. If we're among those who are hoping to just get lucky, we probably won't get lucky at all. Fortune favors the diligent.

In his book, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snow Day, Mark Batterson makes an interesting point when he's talking about prayer. "Maybe prayer," he says, "is less bout changing our circumstances than it is about changing our perspective." It's easy to look at other people in the industry and complain about the good luck they are getting relative to ours. But there's one problem with this perspective: it limits our capabilities.

When we change our perspective about our circumstances, we liberate ourselves to see everything as an opportunity for improvement. We stopping seeing circumstances as "bad luck" and begin to see them as lessons to learn from or opportunities to grow. In fact, many of the people who look lucky are actually simply people who have adapted to unfavorable circumstances. As leaders, we need to adopt the appropriate perspective. There is no luck. There are only circumstances and what we choose to do with them.

David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected].


Oct 20, 2014