By Steve Moran

How many times have you heard someone say, “I drive fine while drunk.” (Or maybe you have even said it yourself out loud or in your head.) The proof in their mind: They have always gotten home safe and never been caught.

The Problem

Here is the problem: The fact that you got home safe and didn’t get caught does not mean you are a good driver when impaired. It only means …

  • So far you have managed to get to your destination while smashed.
  • You got lucky, maybe even a whole bunch of times.

Life and Business

Too often in life and business, we make decisions based on previous success without thinking through how much of that success was based not on ourselves but simply on luck.

Then we make a few more decisions, and maybe the luck continues and we decide we are brilliant when all that really happened was that we got lucky again.

We saw this happen time and time again with the senior living industry as we came out of the 2008 recession. There were executive directors and salespeople who opened communities that filled in weeks. Those leaders looked brilliant. Some were, but many more were simply lucky they were in a market that had lots of demand, and in truth, anyone could have filled those communities.

If they bothered to look, they would have found lots of evidence of problems, grumpy residents and family members, staff turnover, but it was easy for corporate leaders to overlook the signs because after all, the financials were great.

I find myself wondering how much of that “skill that was really luck” is why we have not done as good a job as we could have of training executive directors to be great.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that we need to be very careful to make sure that what we believe is evidence based rather than luck based.