CEO Coaching: Do You Feel Lucky?

Do you feel lucky? If you’re old enough, you might remember Clint Eastwood asking this in a Dirty Harry movie as he points a gun at a perp. That’s not quite the frame of mind I want to put you in. Rather, try this: Think about something that recently caused you to feel happy and grateful. You might’ve thought, “Damn, I’m lucky!” (You might’ve also thought, “Damn, I’m good!” and that’s OK as long as it’s occasional.)

I’m having a lucky day as I write this. I just drove across Wyoming and Montana to ski with friends at a couple of my favorite mountains. I saw three bald eagles (I’ve always considered eagles a symbol of good luck) because I had my head on a swivel as I drove. I’m about to have a beer at a brewery I like while I wait for a friend. Damn, I’m lucky!

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to have more than their share of luck while others get lots of misery? I bet you know one or two of each. Conjure up the image of the lucky one. What are her characteristics? She’s probably curious, open-minded, friendly, optimistic, kind, and adventuresome. How about the one with too much misery? A cynical, close-minded, jealous, stick-in-the mud blame-shifter would be my guess.

Which one are you most like? Probably some days the lucky one and some days the miserable one if we ask your colleagues and family. 

What if luck were a choice? Could you be more curious and open-minded tomorrow if you worked at it? Perhaps even more approachable and kind? If you willed yourself to try a few new things, hoping for the best, you’d get the optimistic and adventuresome pieces as well!

And what if you did that consciously for a month or two? You’d have some bad days, but I bet you’d be a lot luckier, and it might stick. Your co-workers and family would also be luckier to be around you.

Leaders need followers, and people don’t want to follow miserable leaders. But they surely like to follow those who have good luck! Go manufacture some!

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