Friday, 10 January 2014

Are you a change agent? Are you lucky?

Recently, I noticed a couple of celebrities crediting their successful careers to luck. 

Elton John said that answering an ad for song writers led to a producer giving him Bernie Taupin's lyrics to write music to. Forty years and 300 million records later, he is still working with him.

Steve Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen's lead guitarist (and Sopranos actor) said that his mother remarrying and moving from Boston to the Jersey Shore led to him developing his sound and working with "the Boss". He is going on tour with Bruce next month.

Although both stars consider themselves lucky, they had and important part to play in capitalizing on their golden opportunities; they took them. I wondered what character traits separated them from those who wouldn't.

I found my answer in a Psychology Today article called Make Your Own Luck by Rebecca Webber. She compiled a list of research-based behavioural traits of people who felt lucky. People who take advantage of serendipity are:

  • Competent
  • Self-confident
  • Risk takers
  • Open to new and different things
  • Flexible in thinking and behaviour (not rigid)
  • Positive 
  • Resilient

These traits seem to describe Elton and Steve. They also describe people who excel during change. The ones who take on new ways of working and realize the benefits they provide. Maybe someone's view on luck is a good predictor of his success during change. It's worth a chance.


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