Are you playing games that you will never win?
In business and in life we often waste a lot of time playing games that we will never win.
Yet for some reason many people keep playing these losing games. Why do we do that?
There are many types of poker games. All require varying degrees of skill sets. 7 card stud requires a good memory, high stakes Texas hold’em the stomach for losing it all on one hand, big tournaments a lot of patience and endurance for double digit hours of marathon playing. You need to know your strengths and weaknesses so you can pick the game that you have the best chance of winning. But what you need to be careful of is not picking a game in which you could never be successful.
In business and in life we often waste a lot of time playing games that we will never win. A big picture innovator being supervised by a micromanager boss. Recipe for failure. A systems and process lover in an entrepreneurial start up. Immediate disaster. Trying to get an octogenarian parent or in-law to play by your rules. Delusional. Expecting a cheater to suddenly become monogamous. Fantasy. All no win situations.
Yet for some reason many people keep playing these losing games.
One of our long time Poker Prima Diva clients was working for a boss who was the number two person in the company. Over the last three years he had refused to give her a reason why she had not had an increase in compensation despite reaching 120 % of her sales goal.
He insisted upon calling important meetings on the rare day she left the office an hour early to attend her sons karate exhibition. He was dismissive of her in meetings and took credit for her ideas. For years this woman had discussed these issues with her boss but then would let it go figuring that somehow it would magically work itself out. But when her boss brought in his golfing buddy – a former colleague with half her seniority and gave him a slew of her sales accounts she knew she had to more aggressively address the situation. As a high performer with a very good sales record she knew she was a big asset. Our client laid out the facts, put on her pokerface ,and kept her emotions out of the conversation. Her superior agreed to evaluate the situation but nothing improved. She went through the same dance for the next several months. His response was unchanged.
In the meantime she found out that her boss had awarded the outsider a substantial midyear bonus.
Game over. She knew she was right, and he was wrong but she was never going to win this game. He made and played by his own rules and only he knew what they were.
It was time to fold and play another game that she could win.
There’s no shame in folding a proven loser. In fact it’s a very smart business strategy.