Eric Lander knows the secret to success

He reveals it in today’s NY Times:

After his morning workout, he sometimes goes to a local bakery where he can work quietly

Sometimes the key to getting things done is knowing where to hide. The other secret to success is luck:

“I feel like it’s so incredibly lucky to end up here,” he said. “I could not have planned this. What if I hadn’t met David Botstein? What if I hadn’t gone to a meeting where the human genome was discussed? I have no idea. This is as random as it gets.”

It’s frightening just how random it is, particularly if you’re outside the inner circle. (There’s always that inner circle, the one I’m never inside of, even though I’ve also met David Botstein.) There is no doubt that Lander is exceptionally talented, and skilled at sniffing out key opportunities, but part of the story is being lucky to find yourself in those circles where opportunities are offered. The name of the institution where you work matters a great deal when it comes to making first impressions, regardless of your other qualifications.

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One response to “Eric Lander knows the secret to success

  1. Lander is so right about the luck, or serendipity. It can change everything in a blink of an eye, even (or especially) in science.

    I am paying “blog calls” to each @scio12 attendee to say “Hi” and give your blog a shoutout on twitter (I’m @sciencegoddess). I look forward to meeting you in January!

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