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Humans are gambling animals—and not just when we invest in the stock market. Every time we take an action—deciding which job applicant to hire, which product to launch— we are betting our time, reputation, effort, and money in the hope of achieving some future result. Some people base their business bets on dumb luck, but the great ones—like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey—make their own luck. Eileen C. Shapiro and Howard H. Stevenson have compressed the complex skills of making your own luck—which they call predictive intelligence—into twelve easy and practical steps. These steps will get you the results you want with the least risk and the most upside. They will help you take smarter risks without the “analysis paralysis” that gets so many people and companies in trouble. Most books about strategy are dull and loaded with jargon. Make Your Own Luck is full of jokes, brain teasers, anecdotes, and unexpected case studies from the Battle of Antietam to the diaper war between Huggies and Pampers. It teaches readers how to build their ability to bet smart and how to use this ability to win in business and in other areas of life.
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To by have better control of your destiny, focus on increasing your“predictive intelligence”—your ability to act in the face of uncertainty to create the future you desire. Predictive intelligence grows when the four-step process is followed:
Predictive intelligence is not something you're either born with or you're not. Rather, predictive intelligence is generated by a set of twelve orient-organize-plan-act! skills that can be improved and enhanced, just like any other business skills.
“All our work is based on the premise that every purposive action is a bet; one acts now on the expectation or hope, but not the certainty, of the results that will be achieved in the future. Humans are gambling animals. We all gamble all the time. Every time we act, we invest time, or reputation, or effort, or money with no guarantee that the results we seek, no matter how likely they may seem, will occur as we have planned—or as we will desire when the results occur. Once we've placed any of our assets at risk, we've placed a bet. No matter what our preferences, none of us can avoid gambling as we live our lives. What we can do is use our Predictive Intelligence to up the odds that over time, the portfolio of bets we place will lead to the kind of future or futures we envision or desire. Then we can go from depending on dumb luck to making our own luck and taking more control over our destinies. The higher your Predictive Intelligence, the more agile and fast you will be at making your own luck by identifying the best bets and then taking action when and while opportunities are available. This is more than being lucky; people with high PI consistently make their own luck; they take whatever circumstances they are in and create bets with the best odds for getting them closer to the outcomes they seek. You can think of Predictive Intelligence as a kind of consistent street smarts applied to a series of goals”
Skills of increased predictive intelligence 1
Have big, impressive and vivid goals for your future.
The better you understand at the beginning of your bet what the future is you're trying to create, the more wisely you will make choices and trade-offs. Be very clear about understanding the big picture you want and then make choices that will be consistent with that vision.
In any situation, you always have a finite amount of resources-time, money, reputation, effort, etc. If you use up some of your resources on achieving secondary goals, you might miss the opportunity to achieve whatever will be of most value to you. You have to anchor all bets around the kind of future you most want to create and bring about.
To achieve this in practice:
1. Create a quick laundry list of all your possible objectives—every option you can think of. Don't sort or prioritize this list, but create a fast first draft
2. Pick your“lead dog”objectives—that is, go through your list and decide which one or two goals are must-haves. If you can't do this, rank your top three or four objectives.
3. Now look backwards from your lead-dog objectives—and plan out how you'll get from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. Realize that some of your plans will change along the way quite naturally, but cut out all the extra options and focus on one path that will work. This will create some clarity in your thinking rather than feelings of being overwhelmed by choices.
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