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Your Boss isn't Just Smart, He's LUCKY

We should stop praising the world's top CEOs because a new study by a business journal shows that they are not as good as everyone thinks they are--they're LUCKY!

In the June 25th edition of the Financial Times, Lucy Kellaway writes: "Take Bill Gates. Had he not come from a well-off family--making it easy for him to indulge his young love affair with computers--and had his well-connected mother not opened doors with IBM, he probably wouldn’t have become the richest man in the world. That doesn’t mean that Mr. Gates isn’t clever, it just means that we can study him all we like but we're not going to end up where he is."

The researchers "argue that the super-successful are outliers who achieve extraordinary things partly through luck. And once lucky, they get more so. The rich get richer, as we all know."

Successful people not only owe their success to their own good luck, but also to the bad luck of others. Psychologists did a study in which they gave groups of three students four cookies. One member of each group was chosen at random as group leader and in each case it was this person who claimed the extra cookie.

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The Lucy Kellaway article presents her slanted and misguided opinion on the subject.

Why didn't somebody ELSE that actually WORKED for IBM do anything similar to Gates? Kellaway makes it sound as if Gates was the only one (or among a small pool) of people in a position to do what he did. There were others, notably inside IBM, that had better circumstances yet never did anything because they never followed their creativity through.

Also, while the Gates family were well to do, not every successful person benefited from this.

The article is also slanted because it doesn't make the distinction between "grafted" CEO's (the ones that fly from company to company) and visionaries such as Bill Gates. As the latter, Bill Gates makes a horrible example to support her point.

Sounds more like she's talking about Providence, but even there Goethe had it right when he said "Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too."

It's rather funny (if not tragic for someone actually takes her words seriously) how she paints herself a victim of her circumstances. I've been playing that game for years and it leads nowhere - blaming everything on luck and circumstances. 6 years ago I decided to try something different and lo and behold I've got my own business, found the love of my life and have had a blast. Also, as a "boss" I can definitely tell you that while a boss may not be smarter, he probably has more guts and discipline. You can't "turn off" the way you do a 9 to 5 job.

It is rumored that Gates read Charles Haanel while at Harvard and this prompted him to get out and follow his dreams.

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