Byron's Babbles

“Chance Favors The Prepared Mind”

  “Chance favors the prepared mind” was the statement Louis Pasteur, the 19 century scientist, used to describe his remarkable ability to invent and innovate across a complex set of problems.

  Peter Drucker believed we needed to notice the little things that other people miss (Maciariello, 2014). If we study Louis Pasteur’s research accomplishments – from his studies of crystallization and fermentation that aided industries ranging from dairying to silk-making to his work with germs and microorganisms that opened up whole new fields of scientific inquiry; we find that he was truly ready for chance to “happen” to him. Some people believe Pasteur was just lucky. Pasteur’s greatest gift may have been his ability to notice the little things that other people missed. Some of those little things proved to be the source of his lucky breaks (Maciariello, 2014). 

As leaders and innovators we must immerse ourselves in our work at a level such that we can identify a breakthrough event when we spot it. In order to find significance in life, we need to prepare and dream. This preparation will enable us to spot unexpected opportunities. In 1888, the famous Pasteur Institute was named after him, and upon his death in 1895, he was hailed as a national hero. His last words were, ”One must work; one must work. I have done what I could.” In the last and 52nd entry in “A Year With Peter Drucker,” Maciariello (2014) poses a great question for us as a guide: “What would it take for me to take advantage of this opportunity right now?” 


Maciariello, J. A. (2014). A year with Peter Drucker: 52 weeks of coaching for leadership effectiveness. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.



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