Why Good Leaders Don't Need Luck

Austin Lohnes
Why Good Leaders Don't Need Luck

What is luck in leadership? Is there something to it?

As fictional character Harvey Dent famously said, “I make my own luck.”

But still, what is luck in the first place? Is it some kind of magical ingredient or secret sauce that guarantees good luck? And what constitutes bad luck? Why is traffic always worse when you’re already pressed for time? Like every red light conspires against you to hold you up. Is it bad luck?

Who knows whether there really is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. One thing is for sure… A great leader doesn’t rely on a leprechaun for good luck in leadership.

Here are three ways to get results from your team without crossing your fingers and hoping for a little luck in leadership.


It’s not rocket science. A great leader prepares. And luck favors the prepared.

Refer to the late Kobe Bryant. The LA Lakers superstar was the first one on the court for warmups before each game. He was also the last off. And there was a reason.

Picture one man on the other end of the court. His team already retreated to the locker room to get dressed for the game. It’s starting soon, after all… And he’s still in his practice uniform, shooting basket after basket, as if he has no idea what time it is.

This is the last sight his opponents would have of him before game time. Kobe wanted to ensure that his opponents knew there was nothing they could do to out-prepare him.

A great leader, for all intents and purposes, is the first one in and the last one out. They make their own luck. Because good fortune isn’t what gets the ball through the hoop.


Good leaders are surrounded by a great team. And to build a great team, a leader must put the right person in the right place doing the right job.

In NASCAR, each driver has a pit crew tasked with performing maintenance on the car throughout the race. The driver pushes the car to extreme limits under grueling conditions. Just when it can’t withstand any more, a pitstop is made.

One crew member jacks up the car. Another removes the old tires while someone else mounts new tires. One crew member refuels the tank. And still another crew member replenishes drinking water for the driver (temperatures inside the car often exceed 100 degrees). All of this lasts a mere 13 seconds.

When the right person is in the right place doing the right job, magic (or luck) happens. And good leaders make their own luck.


Good leaders steer the ship with their sights set on the horizon. The crew works feverishly on deck. Calling out to one another and adjusting the sails as needed. But when there’s a storm looming in the distance, a good leader isn’t deterred. Whether around or straight through, good leaders know how to come out on the other side.

There’s a plan. And with each plan is a contingency. The crew is able to maintain focus because a good leader makes them feel safe. Even in the face of clear and present danger, they’re confident they can push through to the other side.

If what they say is true, the best laid plans go to waste. But with the right team in place, that doesn’t matter. A great team with strong leadership can adjust on the fly. Good leaders make their own luck.

By maximizing the team’s strengths and managing around its weaknesses, a good leader discovers the true potential in others…and then unleashes it.

We all know by now there’s no leprechaun to bring you good fortune. But that’s ok. Because great leaders don’t leave anything to chance. They don’t cross their fingers and hope for the best. Instead, they keep their hands on the wheel. They tirelessly pull the strings from behind the curtain. When great leaders pull a rabbit out of the hat, it’s not a coincidence.

As for the mythical city of Gotham? It was stifled and ridden with organized crime. Corruption ran deep in public office. Until a fearless and pragmatic new face was elected District Attorney. He became a source of inspiration. A beacon of hope. The light in pitch darkness. Gotham City saw a new age of revival.

He made his own luck.

Ready to take your leadership to the next level without looking for a pot of gold? Contact us to talk about customized leadership training programs with our team here at On The Mark Strategies.

Austin Lohnes
Operations Coordinator
Austin Lohnes
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