I am a great fan of Hindu mythology. Every now & then I either pick a book from mother’s ever so closely guarded Library, (actually a small Godrej Almirah) or my daughter’s favourite “Amar Chitra Katha” series. Last weekend I picked a book whose opening lines were
The same Arjuna with his arrows
Failed miserably this time,
Truly, luck and timing influence
Success in ways sublime,
This is an important lesson,
To remember at all times
The narrative then traces the story back to the day when Yadav clan played a trick on three sages, who in retaliation, cursed the clan, vowing that it would one day destroy itself. As the curse took effect, the Yadavas began to kill one another. At an advanced stage of the crisis, Lord Krishna implored the artful archer Arjuna to save the Yadava women and thus the clan. Arjuna did so with acts of great valor. As he rode away victorious, the Yadava women in his chariots, bandits attacked the entourage. Again, Arjuna fought valiantly. This time, however, several women were slain. Arjuna’s arrows did not protect them.
This is where Tulsidas, the great 16th century poet wrote about luck & timing for success. And this is where I stopped. Is it really true that while in war and business experience and skills have been greatly valued, luck and timing plays an important role? And if yes what is the precise nature of this role? How important is luck vs. Skills? How important is timing vs. experience?
And as I write this, Chennai (the team that I am almost in love with) lost an IPL final which they were not looking like even playing during the league stage. If getting through for playoff was luck, losing to Kolkata was shock.
So here is the most pertinent question for all likeminded, “is it luck and timing or skills & experience in business which plays a more decisive role?”