Are you stuck in a no-win game?
In business and in life we often waste a lot of time playing games that we’ll never win. Yet for some reason many people keep playing these losing games. Every wonder why we do that?
We are constantly told: Never quit! Don’t give up! Make it work! You can do it!
Great advice a lot of the time but not all the time. Sometimes the best strategy is to fold a hand and find another game.
In business and in life we often waste a lot of time playing the wrong game. 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.
At a corporate Teambuilding event, a long-term PokerDivas client talked about working for a boss who had not awarded her an increase in base salary compensation in three years. It made no sense as she had exceeded her sales goal by double digits each year.
In addition to this financial slight, he insisted upon calling important meetings on the rare days she left the office an hour early to attend to family issues with an aging parent. 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. It didn’t.
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 address the situation more aggressively. Our client knew she was a big asset. She laid out the facts, put on her pokerface, and kept her emotions out of the conversation asking for additional compensation. Her superior agreed to “evaluate the situation” over the next 3 months, 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. That was her lightbulb moment. She knew she was never going to win this game. She asked and asked again, tried to negotiate, followed up persistently and nothing. Her boss made and played by his own rules and only he knew what they were.
It was time to take a lesson from the poker table and 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.