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What Is Responsible For Career Success? Strategy Or Luck?

Career Success: Fluke Or Plan?

Fellow Landers,

Is there a strategy for getting to the top of your career or is it just a lucky mix of the right factors?

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37 answers

maturity and planning

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what is luck? it simple means an intersecting point b/w preparation and opportunity. As for strategy, not every of that works; though a very nice one would land u on top

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wrong!

My finding is that opportunity comes again and again, but one who is unprepared won't even recognize it as one.

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People that play the lotteries and win are very insignificant population of the entire lottery players. A lottery owner knows that to achieve success in that field the owner has to deliberately set out prizes to be won. so the winner player believes luck has shone on him/her but rather it was mere strategic plan by the owner.

Also one might ask the lottery player who won was luck. I say an emphatic NO cos that person was at "the right place at the right time" which was the opportunity destiny or God was presenting to that person. What if that person had gone pass the lottery stand definitely such a win wouldn't be his/hers. So the wise saying "opportunity comes but once" hold the truth.

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Dat will fall under the category of luck. LOL

To fill out a lottery form is strategy. You must have thought to yourself "if i fill this form i might just win the lottery" its a stategy.

You could decide to wait on luck. be sure to come back and tell us how far it has led you.

Dear people,

Tried, proven and confirmed; DEPEND ON LUCK AND GOD!

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You can't take advantage of "luck" if you're not prepared, so you better spend all your time preparing!

seun, you've encapsulated the best response into the tiniest space! you've said it all.

flag to moleepaiko

ive seen a fair number of hopeless drunks winning state and even national lotteries. they got lucky. so if i pop a bottle of coke and found fortune on the cork, it doesnt necessarily mean i worked for it in some past life. maybe i just got plain lucky.

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I think many of us are talking about how to become RICH!!!

The real question was career sucess, strategy or luck?

I will surely subscribe to pure strategy, which is a combination of working hard, working smart and being prepared at all times to grab an opportunity when it shows itself. It has to even do with recognizing an opportunity!

I hate it when people resign to fate and try to paint the picture of a career sucess depending on pure luck and making it sound as if GOD is wicked.

Nothing, I mean NOTHING comes purely by luck! God could try to make you lucky when you buy a bottle of COKE for instance and get a crown rooster that fetches you millions while in essence, He may be paying you back for all the hard work you have dedicated your life to, else where.

Guys, keep up the hard work, for sure you will succeed, even though LUCKILY!!!

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@uchetobi

okay, people consult consultants to develop strategies for them, right? okay. and what do the consultants consult? THE BLUEPRINTS OF PAST SUCCESSES THAT GOT LUCKY!!

consultants are not gypsies bent over a crystal ball, all they be are people who refer to documentation of theories and the methods of others.

i can consult till kingdom come but i wager not much would come out of it if luck isnt on my side. the best strategists do not always win the wars cos some other unforeseen factors may come into play to the ADVANTAGE of the little guy, the one who perhaps thought all hope was lost. so planning and forecasting do not lead to success always; they better prepare you to be successful when luck smiles upon you.

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Well I strategy is very important for success of any kind. Why do you think people pay consultants millions to develop strategies to move their business to the next level? What is luck? I don’t believe in luck but I believe in favor from God. What is failure? Only when you concede in your heart that career wise you’ve failed that is when you are a failure. If right doesn’t work for you then try left. That is part of strategy. Cheers and never forget to ask God for favor in all your undertakings.

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You can't take advantage of "luck" if you're not prepared, so you better spend all your time preparing!

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Success is a game of strategy. there is a saying that goes "when you fail to plan, you plan to fail". so, when you plan out your strategies there's hope that one can easily succeed

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OK, I played the lottery just once and the ticket was bought with loose change on the spur of the moment, without any prior defined intention, strategy, hard work, or smart thinking.

Suddenly, I have in my possesion sizeable amount of money, which I then place a fixed deposits, to pay out a good dividends each year for the rest of my natural life.

Would you say that all the concepts we tend to bandy about have had any part to play?

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@G-reycells asked;

what is your definition of failure? People that WORK HARD and SMART do not see failure.

My definition of failure is this: An act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful.

When one does not achieve what he has set out to achieve within his set target of time and scope.

Now the motivational books will tell all about how smart people dont see failure.

I have no issues with working smart or working Hard. Bu I've come to learn that there are no absolutes. I stated that many people pass away before they achieve this elusive success. Regardless of how smart they worked. Now would you say that they will continue the success in their afterlife, or would you say that you never met anyone who was smart and hardworking at yet died b4 they achieved their stated desires?

Also, the truth is that many of us will spend life on this earth doing what we consider smart and never achieving our stated aims.

Do you really think that the likes of Branson, Gates et al were considered remotely smart when they were dropping out of school? We simply have the benefit of hind sight, and now proclaim their names and strategies as though they knew exactly what they were doing at the time.

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@IBEXY

really, you cannot have luck and destiny in the same sentence. you said "To achieve success, a great deal of luck is required.", and then at the end you also said "I don't know if success has more to do with some inexplicable forces of destiny."

if our success is preordained, then luck doesnt exist, surely, except as an ideal?

if we live in a world in which the path we take is chosen for us, then every action we take is not a matter of choice, and every bump in the road or every pot of gold didnt come by luck but by grand design. this also means that different people are chosen to tread different paths and on that account should not be deemed unsmart, unlucky, or unhardworking.

i tend to think of it more as a video game: on the lanscape of life are placed tools to aid our quests, the lucky ones are the ones who stumble upon the tools. but of course you have to be prepared to anticipate those tools, and what use you can put them to. that is strategizing.

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To achieve success, a great deal of luck is required.

What we call "being in the right place at the right time" comes purely by a stroke of luck.

Otherwise all those people who spent a quarter of their lives studying to be one thing or the other will all be successfull (alas, its not like that).

Some people have become great just because their sister dated a governor. Some made it because a big man just took an interest in them. Others have found themselves in very high places without knowing how they got there in the first place.

I dont know if success has more to do with some inexplicable forces of destiny.

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@kamsi

interesting speculation. well it used to be the Age of Anxiety, now i call this the Age of Desperation. ive seen a fair share of determined, hardworking and strategizing young men, a lot of them smart. but sadly few are success stories. indeed, how many members of nairaland ARE successful? few, im sure. how many are lazy, weak-gutted, effeminate, incompetent and borderline dreamers? again, few im sure. just check the threads and you'll see entrepreneurial aspirations, despair, plans, ideas (some cuckold, i admit), and the general impression you get is that people are willing to work hard, muddy their limbs and succeed but most of us (yes, including yours truly) just arent lucky. with the exception of davidylan im yet to encounter one dull mind in the whole of nairaland.

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In either career or business success the greatest factor is opportunity. Onyek made reference to a mark Cuban from his tell the fact point that he was able to recognize an opportunity to excel. Luck is less than a percent of ones success. Everyday people encounter business idea or great career moves but which are impeded by lack of initiative or even procrastination. Which shows lack of imagination or smartness.

So to attribute success to luck is a lazy man's approach to life, where he sits and waits for LUCK to shine on him. To succeed erase all thoughs of luck and try to decipher when an opportunity arises. still using Onyeks example probably the man Mark was not the first to invent that device but he discovered that he could market his invention. So a greater percent of ones success lies in the individual's hands of utilizing opportunity.

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strategy is best word to use for career success not luck because it come in a silver plate.why consider yourself a successful creator and yet it is not your strategy that has to be embedded with hardwork.is this about CAREER SUCcESS or General success

99% hard work 1% luck

THE 1% luck is very very important!!

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Luck is being ready for your opportunity when it comes. So, do something everyday to prepare you for your opportunity.

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Luck is no big deal. Once you're in a position to take advantage of luck, you will get it.

Opportunities are everywhere, but if you are not prepared you will not even recognize them.

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Yes, this is the truth.

THe 1% luck is the most important. Without that 1% luck, the 99% working hard wont have a face and skin. The 1% luck actually qualifies the hard-work.

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Success=Working hard + Being smart

The smart part of the equation is recogniising an opportunity when you see it and seizing that opportunity as quickly as possible. In other words you have to actually know what it is you are working towards, think about it constantly and try as many paths as possible to get it. Eventually you will be successful and then you will have individuals popping up out of the woodwork saying you're lucky.

Read about Mark Cuban who has been described as the accidental billionaire. He wrote about it on his blog (www.blogmaverick.com). He started a company, called broadcast.com, just at the height of the tech boom of 2000 providing audible downloads and videocasts of American sports. He sold it to yahoo for $5.4bn and cashed in his shares. He has always been an entrepreneur but initially developed broadcast as a solution for him to follow sports commentary and watch sports episodes over the internet. When he found that no-one else was doing it, he built the system for himself. It was only when licensing content from US radio stations that he discovered the potential for it. He worked night and day to persuade skeptics that his idea would work. It was when he demonstrated the concept and started producing cold hard cash from the business that Yahoo took notice and bought it from him.

Now I don't know about any of you but I would rather have his 'luck' any day. By the way, Mark was not born into wealth or 'connections'. He is 48, worth $2.6bn and is on Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world

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@hayo

being smart and being educated are not always on the same frequency: smart comes in many guises: street smart, market smart, smart Bottom etc.

einstein was brilliant without being smart, else he'd have capitalised on his nuclear physics knowledge and sold the A-bomb to the Americans for bajillions instead of giving it free. and the A-Bomb contributed to america's might.

bill gates was brilliant AND smart, he stole, modified or bought other people's hardwork and sold them off, now he's probably the richest man in the world.

michael dell? he was so smart he dropped out of college (as gates did) and became a multimillionaire at 25. now his company, dell, is the biggest maker of computers. and michael is a billionaire.

some brick layers work hard, but they are smart enough to know that probably all they could ever be was bricklayers so they stick to it.

sometimes other people just aint smart enough to recognize an opportunity.

the real point is; you may work harder than a mule, be as prepared as u can be, strategize all you want but if luck doesnt send opportunity your way, you just aint lucky.

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Working smart is about developing yourself to the point where your employer is afraid he might lose you. I noticed that most people qualify for jobs where specialised jobs are not required but once they give some specification; they fizzle out. Each time I get calls from friends looking for good hands, I scratch my brain so much before getting appropriate CVs. For example, someone called me 2 days ago to ask for .Net developers, till now I dont have an answer for them (I mean a good developer) because the best guy I had just got a job in my office (A Telco) through my recommendation.

So, strategy is the game o, learn and learn and learn and prepare. Make yourself very marketable and see the wonders that follow.

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is this about CAREER SUCcESS or General success

99% hard work 1% luck

THE 1% luck is very very important!!

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@Eolutosin & Seun

Thanks for your contributions.

@Grouppoint

I hope Seun and Eolutosin's points get to you. That is what WORKING HARD & SMART is all about. And please, what is your definition of failure? People that WORK HARD and SMART do not see failure, rather they discovered a way of not doing things.

For instance, I work hard to make money and when I want to invest the money so that it can work for me, I decide to ask a bricklayer for advice on buying stocks. I am sure you know what will be the fate of that investment. I have worked hard but not smartly.

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Working smart is nothing special. It simply means working hard without excluding your brain from the hard work.

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There is definitely a lot of difference between working hard and working smart. The typical bricklayer that you see around at site is actually working hard but earning little for his effort whereas someone like Fela Durotoye is working smart. He gets more money in a day for doing little that what the bricklayer would get in a year. It is all about leverage.

The starting point is working hard but if you really want to succeed, you need to move up. Get the necessary skills and apply the LEVERAGE.

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I dont agree with you that it is rare to see people who work smart and hard and yet fail. They abound the streets of Lagos and many cities of the world. The examples you gave above mostly detailed people who failed and failed and failed, and then suceeded. What about the people who failed and failed and failed, till death or depression came knocking?

Without sounding anti-capitalist, The mere notion of working smart tells me that someone has to lose out as a result of your smartness. In the end, we will all be outsmarted by the next person.

Besides, lets say that if 1000 harvard graduates applied the same 'work hard', 'work smart' strategies to the same job application, would 999 not fail to clinch the job?

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@ Groupoint

It is rare indeed to see persons dt work hard and smart ending up unsuccessful. Let us not confuse WORKING HARD with WORKING HARD and SMART. They are two different things. Most people either WORK HARD without WORKING SMART or Some bloke is WORKING SMART but not WORKING HARD.

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So how do we explain this statement of fact:

For every one Einstein or Dangote mentioned above, there are over 1 million other harder and smarter workers that will never achieve any level of success?

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Success is when opportunity meets preparation. Therefore, to be lucky means to be ready for your opportunity when it comes. Nothing good comes cheap. Every successful person has mastered some skills and that is what makes them who they are today. So, if you want succeed in career, you have to make a conscious effort to work on yourself daily,

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luck and strategy: there's only a thin line between the two.

for dangote, einstein etc to work hard means they had the proper tools to work with: it was luck that gave it to them.

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Luck did not take Tony Elumelu, Aliko Dangote and Erastus Akingbola & Co, to the top. Please note that the SMARTER HARDER YOU WORK, THE LUCKIER YOU WILL GET. Ask Seun, he is an entrepreneur.

Consider Albert Einstein, who was four years old before he could speak. He worked hard to be the best in his time.

The same for Sam Walton of world famous Wal-Mart, he was not lucky with his first store, it failed.

The great and late Henry Ford suffered an early bankruptcy, but worked hard and smart to bounce back to become one of the richest men in history.

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Luck comes most readily to those who are prepared. Period. If you don't have strategy, you won't have luck!

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