August 21, 2012 in Smart thinking
I have been dunked in entrepreneur speak for the past couple of weeks, writing a book for small time entrepreneurs. And it struck me once again how the speak differs from real life. When you ask the individuals themselves, they made their luck and ” if you believe it you can do it.”
Here is an eye opener on how much luck plays a role in success – and fittingly after the Proteas’ great victory yesterday – from the world of cricket.
Ed Smith, a once of England batsman and Kent cricket captain, also a Cambridge MA in history, wrote a brilliant book on exactly this topic: What is the role of luck in success? (Luck: what it means and why it matters). Now, here’s where economics and cricket meet… Two economists at the World Bank decided to test the hypothesis ” does luck matter more than we care to admit in deciding who succeeds at cricket an by implication life.” What they tested was how being chosen to play in your own country as a batsman for your first test influences your career. The astonishing result: Specialist batsmen debuting at home score on average 32% more than those unlucky enough to begin their careers overseas! That is the difference between an average of 56 of Tendulkar and Nasser Hussein’s 32. The IMF study then showed that home debutants disproportionately get invited back for more tests. And finally their is a strong correlation between debut scores and career averages.
” To those who have, more will be given,” as the Good Book says. Luck just keeps on accumulating. A Smith says, ” the luck of being picked first for a home test is one thing, it is quite another at how that good luck increases your changes of staying picked.”
I will pursue this theme in the next couple of blogs because it has a profound impact on how we think about our strategic planning and evaluating our success in business.