The best way to articulate this is to recall a story from about 10 years ago. If this doesn’t explain how luck and skill interact, I don’t know what does. Names changed to protect the innocent.
In 2009, we hired Mark and made the worst hiring decision I’ve seen in our 12 year history. It was a sales role and when you talk about all the hiring gotchas, we hit them all. Bad fit,bad training, bad standards, you name it, of which I take full responsibility for. The situation only lasted about 3 months before we called it quits. During that time, one of Mark’s only accomplishments was introducing us to a company that eventually became a client. And in that company worked a man named Sam. Sam eventually came to work at Lifeblue after about 2 years of working together as a client of ours.
Sam was to become a major factor in our growth and success as a company. He helped us evolve from chaos to profitable and people driven. He was a mentor to me and very instrumental to my own personal growth. The luck was making a crappy hire that just happened to introduce us to the company, where just happened to work a web tech nerd with a penchant for growing businesses, who thought Lifeblue would be a good place to stretch his wings.
The skill lies in that Sam would have never come to work with us if he wasn’t impressed by our quality of work. Most importantly, he wouldn’t have joined our team if he wasn’t excited to work with individuals that cared about doing right by others, even when the consequences were severe. Good people attract good people. It’s that simple, and THAT is a skill.
Thank you Mark.