’Who Luck’ - The power of proximity

The power of proximity creates ‘who luck’. Even this simple statement gives me goosebumps and skyrockets my curiosity.

What is Who Luck?

I heard this term from John. C. Maxwell at the Leader’s Greatest Return Book Club but originally author Jim Collins invented it. There are many kinds of luck in the world but the best luck is Who Luck according to him. Simply stated, it’s who you know. It is valuable to you as a leader and it can become incredible asset to any leadership candidate or during your transition in C-Suite.

Value of Who Luck

When you possess Who Luck, in any challenging situation, instead of asking yourself, ‘What should I do?’ ask yourself ‘Who do I know who can help me?’ You don’t need to know everything. And frankly speaking today leaders cannot possess all what it takes to lead an organisation. You only need to know people who can help, who has the knowledge, or you need to know people who know people who can help. When leaders lose themselves in the day-to-day operation, they can easily loose the external perspective of this power. See the value of knowing people (both internally and externally) and having a real connection with them.

Create situation to have Who Luck

“The birds of a feather flock together.” If you want to improve yourself, find a flock that’s better than you are at leadership, and join their flock – says John C. Maxwell. It is important to remember if someone is always head of the class, he or she is in the wrong class. Put yourself and your leadership candidates in a group with people smarter, more experienced, if there is potential, they will all rise to the occasion. Now this is much easer to do it for your leadership pipeline but how about yourself as a top leader? How can you make sure you don’t stop growing, don’t stagnate or become complacent?

How to become worthy of Who Luck

The better you get at your profession and your CRAFT as a leader (CRAFT Leadership), the better your odds of meeting high-level, influential people. There is a saying you make your own luck. Means if you work hard (here let me quote Simon Sinek, who said: consistency is more important than intensity), and keep improving, you will have new opportunities and be able to seize them. Those leaders who don’t spend at least 2-3 hours per week to develop themselves gradually losing their Who Luck.

How to up your Who Luck

You always have to earn your second chance, your second meeting with someone, the second step. And you cannot do it without investing time and energy in it. But how? Who should you know? Who do you need to ask: ‘Who do you know that I should know?’ Do your homework and research on the person. Read everything about him/her or everything written by the person. Carefully think through the questions you want to ask, in fact write more you know you will have time to ask. Let your enthusiasm, curiosity even your passion shows during the meeting. Don’t play games because there will be no real connection. So, learn as much as possible not only about the person and the common interest but from the person as well. Then you will have no scruples to express your gratitude.

Where are you on the Who Luck barometer on a scale 1-10, 1 no Who Luck – 10 strong in Who Luck? (Bear in mind it is not about how big your LinkedIn network.)

How much time do you need to and do you want to spend on increasing your power of proximity, your Who Luck? Create your own Who Luck plan.


Source: The Leader’s Greatest Return by John C. Maxwell

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