Toto Wolff is the team principal and 30% owner of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Having in the period 2014-16 won triple world championships in both the driver and constructor category, Mercedes under his leadership is without doubt the most successful Formula 1 team of the current generation. Following the retirement of Nico Rosberg at the end of last year, Mercedes have just appointed Valtteri Bottas as Nico's replacement. Toto's statement to the press on this is as ever full of insight into management at the highest level. This is what he said.
Some people just seem lucky, while others seem constantly unlucky. Or are they? In the business world, perhaps the most outrageous 'luck' story is that of Fedex founder Frederick W Smith. In 1974, three years after founding Fedex, it was on the verge of failing with just $5,000 to its name, meaning they would be unable to fuel their planes the following week. After a last ditch attempt to acquire funding failed, Smith went to Las Vegas and used the $5,000 to play blackjack, turning in to $32,000 keeping Fedex flying for three more days, buying enough time to find another investor. The market worth of Fedex is now $49 billion. When asked if his behaviour in using the last of Fedex's money to gamble in Las Vegas Smith said:
What difference does it make? Without the funds for the fuel companies, we couldn’t have flown anyway.
So was he just lucky?
Something like one third of all people make a new year resolution. Losing weight, getting fitter and eating more healthily are the most popular. Alas, 66% of people are reported to broken it within a month. But in an interview in Forbes with behaviour change psychologist Paul Marciano, he claims "achieving your goals isn’t about willpower. It’s about developing the right skills, executing strategies, and having the patience that inevitably lead to success."