The final Women’s Group event of the year ended with a valuable piece of advice from Ellen Leikind, founder of PokerDivas: “know what you are looking for.” She was referring to a relationship, job, and hand… yes, a Poker hand. On October 12, 2018, Women’s Group Sponsor, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP and Partner Judith Archer, introduced Leikind, a successful marketing executive who turned the game of Poker into a tool to encourage and empower women in life and within their professions. Despite a gloomy New York City evening, the night was full of vibrancy as attendees were greeted with shrimp cocktail, chocolate fondue, and a deck of playing cards upon arrival. Women’s Group co-chair, Danielle Manner, gave a touching nod to current and departing co-chair, Naomi Waltman, revealing the truly inspiring and positive connections that women share at group meetings and events.
Leikind started the evening with a statement that repeated itself in one form or another throughout the night: “you just need confidence to show up and say you are playing.” The theme of playing with assurance, and not out of fear was made evident through another quote, “play to win, and not to lose.” Midway through the event, all attendees were invited to take a Poker personality test, as Leikind noted, “Poker is a people game of players with cards, not a game you play with people.” Through learning the hands of the game and taking the Poker personality test, we learned that both the Poker table and the workplace are indeed environments that thrive on relationships and successful decisions based on positioning, information, and patience.
The program ended with a few tips that prove to be helpful in both scenarios: be the “better” not the “caller”, don’t be afraid to make the first move, control the situation, know when to walk away, and of course, know what you are looking for and be clearly defined in what you want. In all, the program was a helpful reminder that playing to win has to be a deliberate choice and that while, according to Leikind, only 4% of professional Poker players and executives are women, we just need the confidence and assertiveness to show up and take our rightful seat at the table.