“If we always helped one another, no one would need luck.” – Sophocles
How often has someone said this to you? How often have you said it to others?
Of course, you mean well.
Sometimes saying ‘Good luck,’ it is an automatic polite response. Not unlike, ‘Have a nice day.’
You might say it to someone who is going through a difficult situation, especially when you do not know how to help that person. It might be your parting phrase to someone as you walk away from them.
There is nothing wrong with wishing someone ‘Good luck.’ We probably all have times in our lives when we would accept all of the good luck in the world.
When you are saying ‘Good luck,’ to a team member who is having a difficult time with an assignment; or to a team member who has just told you they are running late with their assignment, you have an obligation as the project manager and leader to help.
It is your job to help move obstacles out of the way for your team member.
When a team member tells you about a challenge, they do not necessarily need luck.
They need you to act like a leader. To listen to them discuss the challenge, to brainstorm with them, to enlist others to assist them.
When you have a team member facing difficulties and you say ‘Good luck,’ and then walk away,
it is as-if you are washing your hands of them and their difficult situation.
Do not just wish your team members luck, work with them to change their luck.
Instead of wishing this vague thing called luck, bring them help. That is part of your responsibility to them.
It does not mean you solve every problem; it does not relieve them of their responsibility.
Stop wishing your team members ‘Good luck’ and make sure that you bring them good help.