Corporate Strategy

116. Luck v. Hard Work

April 15, 2024 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 4 Episode 11
116. Luck v. Hard Work
Corporate Strategy
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Corporate Strategy
116. Luck v. Hard Work
Apr 15, 2024 Season 4 Episode 11
The Corporate Strategy Group

Ever felt like you're navigating a ship through the stormy waves of corporate life? That's where we find ourselves in the latest episode, with our capitalist correspondent Alex Restrepo as our guiding star. Together, we traverse the crucial milestones of acclimating to a new job, embracing the stoic principles to keep steady when life gets choppy, and recognizing the symbiotic dance of control and chance. Alex, with his seasoned insights, becomes an indispensable crew member as we chart these seas.

This odyssey isn't just about the corporate climb; it's a philosophical journey questioning the very nature of luck and effort. We ponder if our destinies are a roll of the dice or the result of our painstaking endeavors. From the microcosm of our personal career arcs to the vast expanses of the Fermi Paradox, we weigh the scales of fate and action. Through tales of personal growth and stoic wisdom, we explore how a singular effort can ripple across the universe, akin to the subtle but powerful techniques of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

As we dock at the end of our voyage, we're not just left with insights but a heartfelt appreciation for the journey and our fellow travelers. A special thanks to Alex for his invaluable compass of knowledge, and to you, our listeners, for being part of this expedition. We sign off with a gentle reminder: always check if you're on mute before sharing your wisdom. Set sail with us again for another enlightening discussion on Corporate Strategy, where we promise the murmurs between the waves hold the deepest insights.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever felt like you're navigating a ship through the stormy waves of corporate life? That's where we find ourselves in the latest episode, with our capitalist correspondent Alex Restrepo as our guiding star. Together, we traverse the crucial milestones of acclimating to a new job, embracing the stoic principles to keep steady when life gets choppy, and recognizing the symbiotic dance of control and chance. Alex, with his seasoned insights, becomes an indispensable crew member as we chart these seas.

This odyssey isn't just about the corporate climb; it's a philosophical journey questioning the very nature of luck and effort. We ponder if our destinies are a roll of the dice or the result of our painstaking endeavors. From the microcosm of our personal career arcs to the vast expanses of the Fermi Paradox, we weigh the scales of fate and action. Through tales of personal growth and stoic wisdom, we explore how a singular effort can ripple across the universe, akin to the subtle but powerful techniques of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

As we dock at the end of our voyage, we're not just left with insights but a heartfelt appreciation for the journey and our fellow travelers. A special thanks to Alex for his invaluable compass of knowledge, and to you, our listeners, for being part of this expedition. We sign off with a gentle reminder: always check if you're on mute before sharing your wisdom. Set sail with us again for another enlightening discussion on Corporate Strategy, where we promise the murmurs between the waves hold the deepest insights.

What If? So What?
We discover what’s possible with digital and make it real in your business

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Climate Confident
With a new episode every Wed morning, the Climate Confident podcast is weekly podcast...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Speaker 1:

Now recruiting Creepy. Thank you, Craig. Who are we hiring? Who are we hiring?

Speaker 2:

Let's hire Craig's replacement.

Speaker 1:

Let's bring him on. Oh, don't tell him about G-Ark.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, don't tell him about G-Ark, he doesn't need to know Craig with a goatee.

Speaker 2:

That was a harrowing day.

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to Corporate Strategy, the podcast. That could have been an email. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark. And we have recurring special guest, capitalist correspondent bourgeoisie, alex Restrepo. Welcome back, my friend. Welcome, thank you. So do you all have news, do you all even? Well, I guess first we should do a vibe check. Alex, it's been a while, how are you doing?

Speaker 2:

I'm actually doing fantastic. So last time I was on, I had, uh, just started a new role and, uh, I'm now starting to thrive in it, so it takes a little time to get used to it, uh, so I'm pretty happy where I'm at now for the freshers out there.

Speaker 1:

How many days did it take?

Speaker 2:

so I'm a little over two months in all right, there you have it.

Speaker 1:

You can feel uncomfortable for as long as you need. Well, obviously not as long as you need, but you know it takes time.

Speaker 3:

I was going to say if you feel comfortable for that long. You know maybe they're going to get rid of you at some point. Figure out you're not really doing anything. But yeah, you know, 60 days in, it feels like Alex. It's pretty good. You should be starting to understand this is what I'm doing, this is the value I provide, all that good stuff. You don't quite have it all figured out yet, but you should be getting close, that's why they do the 3690.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, totally. Thanks for sharing that and thanks for helping our freshers out there.

Speaker 3:

Clark, how are you doing? I'm alive, it's been one of those weeks where I feel like I'm just getting beat down in every corner. This is taking a dark turn. This is not what we're going to talk about today.

Speaker 2:

I just feel like I'm getting battered left, right, upside down. You guys ever have that Every day of my life, absolutely.

Speaker 3:

That's living baby Every day and you're excited about it. I'm not excited. I feel like I'm just getting cynical about it. You know what I mean? Like I hit a point where I'm just like you know what you do. Whatever you want, it's not going to work. You just go do it. That's something I said out loud to someone and I'm like, yeah, I probably shouldn't have done that.

Speaker 1:

I'm. I'm glad you did, though, cause I'm a big proponent in the let it break model and, uh, I think there's been some needs to let things break.

Speaker 3:

I think it's a thing for me. It's like if I don't agree with something, I'm going to express why, I'm going to say the risk and then I'm gonna say if you guys are going to do it, you're going to go do it. I'm not going to be standing in your way, but this is my opinion. So I try to always voice that. But then I will commit and be like okay, let's do it. I'm not, I'm not going to like it, but I'm going to do it, and I think that's a good perspective to have in situations like that.

Speaker 2:

I think you know it would. It would behoove you to invest in some stoicism, my dude. So meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Highly recommend reading it If you haven't already just understand that you know, even a Roman emperor can can have troubles. And yet you know, it's all in your head, man, how you react to it. That's how I can be positive, despite the tides of of life, you know, lashing at you. It's all good man.

Speaker 3:

I think it also contributes back to. I started eating less carbs this week, so I think I'm just cranky.

Speaker 2:

I think that's part of it. Oh, that'll do it. Yep'll 100. What did you? I didn't start with that I buried the lead for sure.

Speaker 3:

I wanted to see what you awesome knowledge, you guys would bestow upon me, but I think that's part of it no, uh, stoicism cannot overcome carb deprivation, so that's yeah, don't do that that's no good you gotta carve your food.

Speaker 1:

That's part of life no.

Speaker 3:

No, they're a good thing you don't completely cut them, but you know you gotta tone down, for you got to get the summer bod on so you can look good out there flexing on the beach, you know so that's what I'm getting ready for.

Speaker 1:

It's a myth. Summer bod is a myth. There's no such thing.

Speaker 2:

I've been working on mine.

Speaker 1:

All right are summer bod. We're prepping. Yeah for sure, I'm going on a cruise. I gotta be ready, man. All right, bruce, you're last how you doing. I mean, I don't care what people think about my bod, regardless if they're ready or not. You know, it is what it is. Uh, I'm doing, I'm doing great. I'm doing great, honestly. Um, I think I worked more in the last like three days than I've worked entire months at my previous job. So it's just, you know, it's just a balancing act. You figure it out. And and to alex's point, I do need to read meditations. Actually, I'm gonna put that on my list. I read a lot. Now, I'm gonna put that on the list of things to read. I'm not reading that one guy's book, but I am going to read meditations.

Speaker 3:

Uh, dare you isn't david allen again?

Speaker 2:

if, um, if I, if I can give some context, it is worth noting that he did not write it with the intent for it to be published, interesting. It's basically his personal journal, that he was just putting his thoughts down to work through them, and then, after his death, people are like whoa, this dude was a genius, let's put that as a book, and so just worth remembering that if the narrative seems off, that's because there was never meant to be a narrative.

Speaker 1:

I think that's totally fine. I mean, I don't think David Allen expected his book to be published either. You just look at that cover and it screams I don't care. So yeah, no, I'm down to read it and I think that to your point earlier you made about stoicism and mental state. For me I'm a little past Clark. I think where it's, I know things are wrong and I just choose not to tell people because it's easier. You know, I was not my problem anymore. Let it break, let it fail, and it helps. It does help. I have my own problems to deal with. I can't be helping others with every single fire they have, but everything we're talking about relates to the topic man.

Speaker 2:

I think it does. It's a rough thing, but everything we're talking about relates to the topic man.

Speaker 1:

I think it does uh, it's a rough topic, or I think it's a rough topic. You brought it to us. I've been chomping at the bit to talk about it, so let's get in. Alex, is this even real? Is this show we're doing right now our own, or is this just pure luck?

Speaker 2:

that's a great question. So, yeah, from a topic point of view, in case you weren't already aware, clark, we're just talking about what's in your control and what's not right. There's an old debate right About, like nature and nurture, you know, genetics versus environment, things like that, and a lot of times right when we're and this is something that came up in another conversation that Bruce and I were having with some other friends we were discussing, like, how much do you really think that where you are today right is based on your own work, your own struggle, your own ability to do things, versus just happenstance, right, a quirk of fate, and folks may throw around different numbers. Happenstance, right, a quirk of fate, and folks may throw around different numbers right 60-40, 50-50, things like that. So, before I give mine right, I'm just curious, especially Clark, because I've already had this conversation with Bruce but, clark, what's your breakdown there right? Like somewhere in the spectrum of what's out of your control in terms of where you are today versus what's in your control?

Speaker 3:

It's a good question as I think about, like the things that have happened to me. I don't really believe in like just luck happening to you. I think that sometimes it does happen, right, like sometimes somebody gets really, really lucky for no reason you know, and just it just happens, falls in their lap for no reason, you know, and just it just happens, falls in our lap. But I think you have to take the initiative to put yourself in situations that then generate opportunity for luck to bestow upon you. So I think that's that's kind of how I think about the things that I've done. I'm like, yeah, I could have just sat back and done nothing and complained and, you know, probably nothing's going to happen from that. But if you keep on trying things, if you keep on doing things, if you keep putting yourself out there, you're going to be a little luckier because you have more opportunity. You know you're doing more things to give yourself that opportunity. So I don't necessarily believe that most people, in 99.99% of situations, will just be lucky.

Speaker 3:

I think it's about what you put into it and then luck does happen. Luck based on are you lucky because you know you were born in the United States? Are you? And you, you know, have a pretty privileged life compared to the rest of the world. Sure, really lucky that that just happened to me, right, that was outside of my control. Am I also lucky that you know that I have the career that I have? I think I had to stick my neck out there and do things that you know that somebody may not have done, and I think that factors into. If I didn't do those things, I probably wouldn't be where I am now.

Speaker 1:

Alex, before you go and say your percentage, clark, what percentage would you rank it? Luck to effort, luck to effort.

Speaker 3:

I'd say like 80-20. 80-20.

Speaker 1:

80% effort, 20% luck. I already know what Alex is going to put out there. But before we have this topic, I say 70-30.

Speaker 2:

70% effort, 30% luck.

Speaker 1:

Yep, so now we'll come back to this at the end. This is why I'm asking right now I want to put hard numbers out there that we will revisit and then re-rank after we have this conversation, but please tell us what is the actual number in your opinion, alex.

Speaker 2:

Well, and to be fair, this is just my opinion, but I am going to try to back it up with some examples. My opinion is that it's 99.1 and it's Yikes-a-roni we're going to battle this one out. We are. Let's start setting the stage. Are you familiar with the concept about a phase transition, Clark?

Speaker 3:

Phase transition. Give me more context.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let's say you're looking at the Sahara Desert and there's a beautiful dune. Wind picks up and there's sand grains falling on the dune At some point. There's a beautiful dune right, wind picks up and there's sand grains falling on the dune right. At some point there's a sand grain one out of billions, one sand grain that hits that dune and causes it to collapse, creating a new structure altogether. Right, and, by the way, they've done this in closed-off environments, right, like in a vacuum, like not a vacuum, but like a closed off environment, where they just drop one grain of sand at a time and eventually the dune forms and it stays stable. It stays stable and then one specific grain of sand hits and the entire dune collapses, right? Um, how accurately do you think you could predict which grain of sand would cause that to happen? What's that?

Speaker 3:

I don't think you could.

Speaker 2:

Agreed Right, which is basically to say that the predictability of the universe is almost impossible, because you to know how all of the different gradients that make up who you are came about in a way that led you to where you are. But you're decision-making right. Everything you do is informed by everything you are, and so I'll give you my own example. Right, so I am where I am right, because at one point my parents decided hey, you know what? We're going to emigrate from Colombia, a country in South America, to the United States, and in particular, we're moving to the New York City area. Right, so I happen to grow up in Queens, new York. I went to public school as a first-generation immigrant and I went through an amazing program. I happened to inherit a decent amount of just a natural gift for learning that I'm very grateful for. That's a genetic quirk out of my control, and then I happened to have some amazing gifted programs in the public school system in New York City in the 1980s and 90s. Me developing my critical thinking skills, which eventually led to being able to adapt very quickly to change, eventually led to a career in technology and eventually led me all the way to where I am right now in my current position. Right, that was 80s and 90s Now.

Speaker 2:

Growing up, I had some friends right, and some of them stayed in the New York City area I live in Florida now and one of them actually became a teacher and I was talking to him about the public school system in New York City area. I live in Florida now and one of them actually became a teacher and I was talking to him about the public school system in New York and the state of it. Right, because I'm like man, I had such a great education and he's like it's so different now. Right, it is nowhere close to what it was then and if anybody listening is from New York or a school teacher, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Speaker 2:

But I know that their opinion was that it's considerably worse than it was for a number of reasons. Right, primarily, budget cuts is pretty much across the board. I think we're familiar with that. I give you that example just to say that if a kid of Colombian immigrants grew up in New York City today, through no fault of their own, they could have the exact same capacity to learn I do, the exact same work ethic from their parents that I had my parents worked their butts off to create a life for us here, right? All of those things could be in place and because the school system isn't what it used to be, their outcome can be entirely different. Is it still going to be 80% effort, 20% luck?

Speaker 1:

There's no way.

Speaker 2:

There's more. Now I do want to make it clear Before we finish today. Now I do want to make I want to make it clear before I, before I, before I, you know, before we finish today. Right, I'm going to talk about how that 1%, though, is everything. So it is both. It is both. 99% is out of your control. It just is what it is Meaning.

Speaker 2:

Even your ability to react, like, let's say, how you handle adversity, your ability to lead a team, right, so much of that is either genetic or environmental, or both a combination thereof, right, but your willingness to do something still matters. There's an old saying that you know, when opportunity knocks, you have to open the door. And sure, I completely agree you have to open the door, but that opportunity being there simply wouldn't be possible if you didn't have all of these things. In fact, you already mentioned some of the potential barriers. Being an American, being an American right, born in the US, you know cognitive abilities, the ability to speak, right, there are many individuals that are born that are cognitively very sound but are incapable of speech for any number of reasons.

Speaker 2:

Being, you know, even being male and I'm not trying to dissect that subject in depth here, because all three of us are males and I would highly recommend bringing on a female perspective to really dissect that. But the fact is that we are born into a patriarchy and we benefited from that Not through any fault of our own, necessarily, but we have, and so so many factors play in that from my perspective. I have to acknowledge that it's not acknowledging in the sake of throwing my hands up and again I'll get to that 1% and why it matters, but it's acknowledging it from the sake point of view of humility, right, just understanding that we're very fortunate to be where we are and absolutely the things we do matter. But we shouldn't think, we shouldn't be too proud, I guess, is I guess what I'm getting at of where we are and how we quote unquote built that.

Speaker 1:

I'm working through a thought right now and it's kind of based on it. Take, you know, we take the dune example and the grain of sand, which I love. I've seen that video it's a cool video on, like, how the one grain just breaks, the breaks the dune, the, the difference between the dune and the grain, which is influenced by nature. Right, like a wind blows and that's what moves that grain and that's what collapsed the dune. And us is the factor of others. Right, like it's not one force of nature that kind of defines our path.

Speaker 1:

You know, you mentioned the New York publication, or New York public education system. You mentioned, you know, right time, the 1980s, 1990s. You know there are other factors in your setup, but all of those are determined by thousands of different people. Right, like there's all kinds of different minds working in mass. That and this is this is the thought I'm trying to get to is yeah if it's, if it's 99 percent luck and it's 1 percent effort. To is yeah if it's, if it's 99 luck and it's one percent effort. If you flip that, though, and you look at not you but humans as a collective, does that number then change? Is it now less nature and more well as a collective. It is 99 effort and then it's one percent luck that we just don't get hit by a meteor if, if you want to extrapolate it out for humanity as a whole, it gets worse.

Speaker 2:

I only have to point you if you're not familiar already. There's a concept and you can Google this. There's a ton of videos, there's a ton of doc articles on it. Look up the Fermi paradox If you want to understand how lucky we are to even exist as a race. The Fermi paradox is basically, in short, and I'm not going to try to go in depth in short is trying to solve, for, with so many stars and so many potential planets, how have we not seen the aliens yet? They should be self-evident, right. They should be everywhere, because the numbers are literally, quite literally, astronomical, right, and so there should be. The galaxy should be teeming with life, and yet we see no evidence of life yet thus far right.

Speaker 2:

Despite all our efforts. And so the Fermi Paradox is different methodologies for trying to solve for that Like why is it so hard? And like there are different barriers that you know have to be cleared. One is like maybe it's just getting life at all is incredibly difficult, and there's any number of ways in which people explain how difficult that is Getting multicellular life incredibly difficult.

Speaker 2:

We had single cellular life in here on this planet for, you know, hundreds of millions of years, and it took forever to get to a multicellular organism. And then, having advanced multicellular organisms, eventually having, you know, longevity and the ability to generate degrees of intelligence, right, and then eventually leading to higher cognitive function. Then there's another Fermi paradox solution that states that once you reach our level of cognition, inevitably you destroy yourselves, and we're seeing some evidence of that today. Right and so you know, is that the inevitable fate of intelligent civilizations? That they destroy themselves? Right and so anyway. But if you Google that, you'll you'll the Fermi paradox, you'll understand how the 99% is actually barely scratching the surface of how unlikely we as a race are to be where we are.

Speaker 1:

But if we remove that from, like you know, I realized it's a huge ask, like let's just remove all of the lead up to get to humans, but we think about society, but let's just focus on society like as a under a lens, then does effort become more important. And maybe you know, yes, individually we don't have that much control or power. Just listen to bruce and I talk episode after episode about our hardships at work. We cannot control that all that much. But like as a, as a group, I do think we have the power to move a lot more than than what we can as individuals. And I, I I still believe that number has to be higher than 99. Luck one percent effort as a collective I think it's about the framing too.

Speaker 3:

Like, what do we consider? Like the context is important, I guess is what I'm getting at. If you were to take little bruce and you were to clone him, baby br, upbringing same or alternate universe, right? Same upbringing, same kind of, you know, whatever might be education, same opportunities, and one Bruce the Bruce we have here puts in all the work and the other Bruce doesn't. Like the other Bruce might look at the hardworking Bruce and say, hey, hardworking Bruce is lucky, you know, he got there when in reality he just put in more work than alternate universe Bruce. So like, yeah, sure you could say he's lucky, but he's actually not. He had the same opportunities you had. And it actually is all effort and no luck if you put it in the context. So it's all about how I think you frame the problem. No luck if you put it in the context. So it's all about how I think you framed the problem.

Speaker 2:

Maybe I'm just working my way out of having an answer. No, no, no. I completely agree with you, and that's where we get to the 1% mattering entirely, and you're correct that this is a matter of perspective. I want to emphasize the 99% again, as the takeaway for me is to be humble, to stay humble right.

Speaker 2:

That where you are today is a stroke of luck. Tomorrow you could have a stroke and your cognitive capabilities would diminish or disappear. That can happen to anybody at any time. So just stay humble. Right, primarily right. But the 1% does matter, and here's I'll give you a very simple math example. Right, In the US, the population in terms of the workforce, the overall population, is around 330 million.

Speaker 2:

The workforce is about 167.9 million people thereabouts, right? 1% of that is over 1.6 million people, and so, even if only 1% of the workforce had similar opportunities to you, you're still competing against the pool of 1.67 million people, right, I want you to think about that. So now, all of a sudden, the urgency now sinks in. Now, let's say, that's 16,712 folks that are in your specific backyard of competing against, and I would argue so I'll give you an example. Primarily, my responsibilities in my job vary, but let's say, for the sake of simplicity, I'm a sales engineer. That's my job. I think 16,000 is, if anything, a low number in terms of sales engineers. So now, there are that many sales engineers. Now, not all of them may have had my background, but that's still my pool that I'm in competition with, that I'm being stacked, ranked against. Whether or not we like stack ranking as a concept, the fact is that it happens, and so absolutely that 1% of effort matters every single day, and I can give you another example here. So I know, bruce, he takes some martial arts. I've taken a little bit of martial arts here and there and in particular, I remember one time I took a few Brazilian jujitsu classes. If you're not familiar, brazilian jujitsu is actually a really cool martial art from the perspective of how they approach learning, and so, instead of giving you a belt rank because you learned some moves that create what are known as a kata, like a choreographed movement they give you based on time in the mat. Right Experience is all that matters, capability is all that matters, and to me that's really more representative of the real world in terms of work also.

Speaker 2:

But I bring it up because I remember when I was doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, I was about, you know, I'm six foot one, a little over 200 pounds, and I was, you know, a white belt, no stripes, nothing like that, right, and I rolled against a little kid that was five foot six, 130 pounds, and he destroyed me, and this kid was a green belt, so he wasn't like high up. He wasn't super advanced, right, he was a green belt, but I mean, granted, a green belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu takes a lot of time to even earn that right, but at any rate, I mean I could do nothing. That guy made me a little ragdoll. But similarly, after about five classes I was rolling with somebody that had come in fresh off the street and this dude was like six foot five, 300 pounds, so much bigger than I am right, and I treated him like that little green belt treated me right Only because I had five, six classes under my belt and I understood some of the basic concepts of leverage and how to leverage.

Speaker 2:

You know how to use that in rolling right and doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So I bring that up because we can have similar experiences. Right, but the effort we put in to continue to be better at our craft is absolutely going to make all the difference in the world. Even if you're going up against somebody that ostensibly had better luck than you did, somebody could have had better luck in the draw in terms of they were able to get an MBA because their parents were legacies and you got into a high-end school. You could still go out there and out-compete them simply by putting in the effort, and so absolutely that 1% matters entirely.

Speaker 3:

It's a really good point. Yeah, it's all relative. So, as you think about luck in your pool to your point, that effort is what makes the difference. So you can't just say someone's lucky. It's like you're in the same pool with the people around you. You know if someone gets a promotion over you. So it's all about the work that you put in and sure, there might be a little luck you know they're on a higher visibility project or whatever it might be but you have to make your own opportunity. Kind of going back to my comment at the start. So yeah, I agree with you, but holistically, yeah, I think we're pretty lucky to be alive now.

Speaker 1:

So so my question is and you know, just trying to think about how we, how we take this knowledge that we have and make it better for as many people as we can like, what do you do, not to influence your luck, but to influence the outcome with the luck you have?

Speaker 2:

So first, right, I think the takeaway from the knowledge for me is to flip the conversation about luck. Normally and this is something that Clark just kind of hinted at a little bit Normally, when we think about luck, we're lamenting how someone else is luckier than we are. Right, I would flip around, be humble about wherever you are and understand that you're lucky to even be here, and it doesn't matter where here is. If you're able to listen to this podcast, you're in a privileged position, I guarantee you over at least uh, you know millions of people, if not billions if you're able to listen yeah, if you're able to listen to this podcast, you're in a privileged position.

Speaker 2:

So, flipping it and being appreciative of that luck, number one. And then number two, viewing the fact that you control your future destiny as something that's powerful. Now, before the show right, Bruce, you and I were talking and I mentioned a quote I heard this weekend listening to the radio. There was a dude that was attacked by a hippopotamus while he was doing some exploration in Africa on a river and he lost his arm and he had a lot of other serious injuries, right, and he was lamenting, right, everything that happened on that trip. And a doctor that was tending to him gave him a look and said, because he's complaining about the hippo and all that, and the doctor said, look, you were attacked by a hippo and that hippo ate your arm off. That happened.

Speaker 2:

What happens next is up to you, right? And, by the way, that guy with one arm figured out a way to get a kayak that he could paddle with one arm and then paddle the Zambezi river, where he had been attacked, all the way out to where it ends, and he did that, right, in an effort. An effort to show that, yeah, what happens next is what matters, right, and that's in your control and I, you know, I think it's awesome that we ended up starting off and I didn't think it was going to go in that direction but we started off talking about stoicism and, to a certain extent, that mentality right. What happens next is up to you. That mentality is a lot about what stoicism is, which is how you react to the situation you find yourself in, is entirely within your control Always Right.

Speaker 1:

I love that Personally, I mean that's. You know I'm not. I'm not a master stoic. I haven't read the book, I don't even. I don't even describe myself. I don't wear this label but truly in the last year I have learned the importance of well, I can't change the situation, but I can change my outlook and you know I can do things for me that will help me get through these things. And just having those little conversations with myself, being mentally present and able to acknowledge it's not in my control, it's, it's fine, like it's going to be okay, I'm still in a point of privilege Helps so much every day when I close the laptop lid it does take me personally to a better place, so I do recommend it. I know that there's room for me to grow and learn more and apply more to myself. But I think to your point, it's something that we can all control and do more with.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the key there is control, and I tell that to the passionate folks on my team all the time. I'm like and I'm so hypocritical because I started out this conversation where I'm just getting beat and battered and flipped upside down I just had a bad week and also carbs are low, so I'm cranky. But I tell my team all the time like you got to disconnect. Like listen, prioritize your home life, don't be on calls till 10 tonight. Like what are you doing? Like you got to separate the two. Don't, don't stress yourself out, don't hurt your health because of something going on at work. I'm like, if work's causing you that much trouble, then I really think you got a question if you should even work here anymore.

Speaker 3:

I straight up say that to my employees because I want them to be in a good place, that they're happy and they're thriving in their work life, but also their home life, because I want the best for them. And so I'm hypocritical in that way because you know, life is a journey, it's not a flip. I'm always going to be the master stoic, but some weeks are better than others, so I love that though. Alex, I think you bring up such a good point and it's a good perspective to have, because I think we often take for granted how fortunate we are because it's so easy to get distracted. But every day you wake up it's pretty lucky.

Speaker 1:

Every day. You don't get eaten by a hippo is pretty lucky. I mean, like I don't get trampled by a hippo. I love that story because it it could go, that literally could go a million different ways, but the one way I don't get trampled by hippo. I love that story because it could go, that literally could go a million different ways, but the one way I didn't expect it to go was figures out how to one-arm kayak down that same river and then master the river. Like you know, it's just we can be amazing if we want to be. And I think that's also important to realize is it's 99% luck, 1% effort. But dang that 1% is a lot Like it is a lot of effort, Even if you just think, like, what is 1% of your life right? Like whatever your life expectancy is, if you're only in control for 1%, it's still a lot of life.

Speaker 2:

So it's a good way to think about it. If you think 1% isn't a lot right. So how many natural counting numbers are there, Like how many numbers exist?

Speaker 1:

Infinite right it's an infinite number.

Speaker 2:

That's correct. It wasn't a trick question, okay.

Speaker 1:

It was a trick question. When you ask questions, I always feel like I got to think about this. Hold on, are there really an infinite, so natural whole?

Speaker 2:

numbers right Like whole numbers. I always feel like I gotta, it's like I gotta think about this. Hold on, are there really an infinite? So natural whole numbers, right Like whole numbers. There's infinite number, right. How many fractions are there between zero and one? Infinite?

Speaker 1:

Correct, that's my point there are less prime numbers than there are rational numbers, but they're still infinite of both.

Speaker 2:

Correct, there are larger infinities, but that doesn't mean that any one infinity is any less infinite.

Speaker 3:

That's right, and it's transcended to a level I'm not ready for today, guys.

Speaker 2:

Sorry, I'll take it back down. Anyway, the point is right. I'm not trying to beat you up for feeling bad about having a rough week or whatever. All I'm saying is do your best to always try to keep it in perspective. We're humans, we're emotional creatures. It's not always going to be easy. All of us fail at that all the time. But when you can try to recenter yourself and reposition everything from the frame of mind of how fortunate you are to have this day to go out there and try to figure out how to one-armed canoe down a river, day to go out there and try to figure out how to one-armed canoe down a river.

Speaker 1:

This has been like one of the best self-help conversations I've ever had, and I've listened to a lot of crappy self-help, so I'm not saying this is crappy by any means, but like this is good. This is good for me, this makes me feel good.

Speaker 3:

I don't think David Allen cares about how you feel about it.

Speaker 1:

David Allen's effort that he put on the cover of his book was less than 1%, so let's not even start.

Speaker 3:

He is never coming on this podcast.

Speaker 1:

Never, never. If we can have any guest on the entire planet, I will never let that man join us.

Speaker 3:

But no, I agree, it is really important. I think what's always hard is you just feel like things are outside of your control, and especially when you have a team, when things are outside of your control, it means they're even further outside of your team's control and to the point of like the one-armed canoe. It is up to you. On how you well, how you look at it, yep, but also what you do next and I think that's the important thing to remember is always remember you're not helpless. You know there is something you can do, and sometimes that's plan exit. You know, if you truly can't do anything at work or it's causing you so much stress sometimes you got to leave. But there is something you can do and it's your choice to make.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's, it's why we make this podcast, it's why we have the discord which we'll we'll get to in a minute, but you know it's never feel like it's. It's the luck that's holding you back right. You, you can, you can absolutely influence, and if you can't figure out how, ask others and they'll help you.

Speaker 2:

That's right, very good point.

Speaker 3:

I love it. I feel better already.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so let's do it again. Clark Percentage split Luck effort Go.

Speaker 3:

I mean, I think if you're talking about like life on a whole, yeah. I think it's 99-1. I think I got to go with that we're talking about.

Speaker 3:

If you're still talking about contextually, yeah, like who is saying it's luck versus skill? If I'm looking at the pool around me, comparatively, I still think it's 80-20. I still think everyone who has the same opportunity. If you're looking at it that way, it's really hard to frame. I think 20% of that can be luck. You're just in the right place at the right time. The right situation comes to you because of the opportunities that you stepped in for. But I still think it's 80%.

Speaker 1:

I mean for me. After hearing the arguments made today, I will concede and say I think it's 98 too, cause I'm feeling a little more optimistic. You know, let's make it a two, let's make it a two, let's do it, why not? Well, I think this has been great, ironically. Ironically, there has been the start, the luck has aligned, the stars have taken shape, there was an eclipse and while we were recording this, something happened, A meme, birth of Little.

Speaker 1:

Cell In the what Do you Meme channel Again. Is it 99%? Probably yes. Individual contributor has put it in there, so we have to acknowledge it in Alex, since you're the guest. Oh, my god, you're the guest. It's perfect. You're playing what Do you Meme and you have to explain why. This is the perfect meme for this episode.

Speaker 2:

Holy cow, how do?

Speaker 3:

you know, this is insane.

Speaker 2:

All right. So we come in on a very well-muscled purple man. The man seems to have no skin and or flesh about his face and head. Also, he doesn't eat carbs for sure, I'm just saying Well, he is shredded, I mean there's no doubt. Sure I'm just saying, Well, he is shredded, I mean there's no doubt. I mean we have to acknowledge he is ripped. Ripped Also, his palm is thick. Can we acknowledge that as well?

Speaker 1:

It is very expansive.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but it seems that he is saying something, giving words of advice. Some days I'm all just like whatever, and that's okay. You know, what Skeletor Dang right.

Speaker 1:

Damn straight.

Speaker 3:

Right, wow, if that doesn't prove $1.99,. This was not coordinated.

Speaker 2:

That is unbelievable serendipity.

Speaker 1:

Truly Individual contributor. You have no idea what you've just done. I mean, this whole episode was worth it just to get this moment.

Speaker 2:

I got chills right now. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Can't believe it. I'm like stunned. I'm legitimately stunned, holy cow. And you were here. You're always the what do you meme contributor. I know, I know, like I just can't, I just can't, I can't fathom it. 99%, I believe. Now, okay, I changed my number again it's 99. Yeah, you're 99.1.

Speaker 3:

I'm 99.1. There's no such thing I mean, this podcast proved it. There's no such thing as c-o-r-p-o-r-a-t-e-s-t-r-a-t-e-g-y dot b-i-z. That's corporate strategy dot biz. You can go there to get everything.

Speaker 1:

You know what, clark? I heard a rumor, though. What's that? You don't need to know any of this, no more. You know what? Yeah, we got a link tree now. Ooh, have you seen this? Have y'all seen the link tree? I mean, I saw it. It's great, alex. Have you seen the link tree? Alex, have you seen the Linktree?

Speaker 2:

I've heard it exists, but that a unicorn must lead you to it, and so I have not seen it myself.

Speaker 1:

It does require a little bit of unicornian effort. In fact, all you have to do is go to the show notes and click on our Linktree. It's that simple. If you want to join our awesome Discord, get access to our super cool website, listen to old episodes, or maybe maybe you're feeling generous and you want to support the show that is completely host funded and by host I do mean singular Click the all the links button at the bottom of your corporate strategy show notes and you can get everywhere your heart desires, including our super cool discord where we play. What do you mean? Help people and have just all around great conversations while bemoaning late stage capitalism, any chance we get you click that and check out all the links and before we close out today, you know. Thank you again, alex, for bringing the heat with that awesome topic. At first I was like not convinced, but now I'm a believer. So thank you, as always, for joining us. We really appreciate having you.

Speaker 3:

It was great. I mean, I'm not saying, Alex, like what everything we just said is totally useless. You could have just waited for an individual contributor point to just throw that in the chat. Like what are the chances of that? That proved it alone. So if you just want to skip all the way to the end, just wait for this moment. Who needs to listen to the rest?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I should probably put a note in the show notes. Just skip to whatever 55 minutes or where we're at right now. And here you go.

Speaker 3:

That's all you really need, but no reality. Alex, I always learn something every time you're on. So thank you for jumping on. Thank you for all the recommendations. Thank you for the topic. It was great.

Speaker 1:

And thanks for moderating our corporate fam Word Word up, indeed, as always. Thank you, the listener, for joining in. If you like the show, please leave us a review on your podcast platform of choice. That'll finish us up for this week. So just remember, make it a brain dump when you can. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark and you're on mute. We'll touch base with you next week. Get out of here, Craig.

(Cont.) 116. Luck v. Hard Work
(Cont.) 116. Luck v. Hard Work