16 Ways to Create Good Fortune

Ask any successful person how they achieved success and many will mention good fortune. Some will say, “I was lucky.”

For instance:

Jay Elliot told me he met Steve Jobs in the waiting area of a restaurant after leaving Intel for a job at a start-up. The start-up failed. Jay had no job.

Andy Grove, Intel’s president and Jay’s former boss, gave Jay this parting message, “You’re making a big mistake – Apple isn’t going anywhere.”

Jay became a V.P. at Apple and Jobs’ right hand man. Steve was twenty-five. It was just months before Apple went public.


I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it. Denzel Washington

The Sweet 16 of creating good fortune:

  1. Stay open. The thing you seek may not be the thing you find.
  2. Keep asking questions.
  3. Look for favorable circumstances. People see what they look for.
  4. Set direction and goals; they help you understand favorable winds.
  5. Adapt to favorable opportunities that aren’t perfect.
  6. Keep moving forward even if direction changes.
  7. Prepare for adversity.
  8. Embrace turbulence; it opens hearts and minds.
  9. Let go of failure.
  10. Talk opportunities. Talking problems elevates and validates them. The more you talk about problems the more problems you see.
  11. Learn from mistakes.
  12. Push through resistance.
  13. Disregard convenient activities; do what is right.
  14. Build a network of friends.
  15. Ask for advice, a lot. Seek out experts and others who share your experiences and vision.
  16. Express gratitude.

Bonus: Do your best where you are.

Successful leadership includes good fortune. I don’t believe in luck but good fortune isn’t always an accident.

How can leaders create good fortune?