By Chris Gandy
Another weekend and another chance encounter in the bush with my old friend Alf. Rain was forecast for the coming week and we were both trying to keep our other halves happy by stocking up on firewood.
Needing little excuse to stop working, Alf quickly stopped sawing and started to regale me with the latest news and gossip from around the community. He commenced by asking me whether I had heard the good news about Steve, a local farmer, who all in the space of a week was appointed to a paid Government Advisory Panel position, he got top price for the day with a pen of 20 beef cattle he sent to the regional sales and a racehorse he owns won a race in Sydney.
“You know I am really pleased for Steve” he said. “But what ticks me off is the number of people who just dismiss him as tinny“
Well he was off!
“I’ve been around for 78 years and believe me people aren’t tinny – what happens to them isn’t pure chance. They put themselves into positions where they open up the possibility for good fortune”
He then went on to tell me his take on so-called tinny or lucky people which I will attempt to summarise.
According to Alf, tinny people view the world in a particular way. They are:
- Open to opportunity.
- Not fixed on a specific goal
- Not controlling or narrowly focused
- Always on the look out for new experiences
- Accept failure as a possibility. And when it does occur , pick themselves up and try a different angle.
As usual Alf got me thinking about what he had to say and when I returned home I started searching for and found a book I have had on my bookshelf for several years – The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind by Richard Wiseman.
Maybe Alf had read the book – he didn’t say. But his life experiences and observations are very consistent with Wiseman’s hypothesis and findings that we can make ourselves tinnier by changing our outlook on life.
More specifically, Wiseman argues that tinny people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are adept at creating and seeing chance opportunities, make fruitful decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations and adopt a resilient attitude.
If you are in a leadership role, the question to ask yourself is whether your view of the world is helping or hindering your organisation to be tinny?
About Chris: Chris Gandy is the founder and a director of Cause and Effective – a provider of contingent resourcing and leadership search services to cause-based organisations. He is a former not for profit CEO and current board member.