First a quote; “You got to know when to hold ’em… Know when to fold ’em… Know when to walk away and know when to run.” —Kenny Rogers; The Gambler
For years, my wife’s family tradition on Sunday afternoon was dinner, followed by games around the family table. The game of choice was most typically Pinochle, a card game of skill, concentration, partnership, and of course, some luck. While I enjoyed the family time, I didn’t much enjoy playing cards, mostly because of my total ineptness at the game. And, it was always amazing to me how such a loving family could become so incredibly competitive over a game of cards. Becky and her siblings rarely wanted to be my partner in cards… usually, it was my “mother-in-love” who came to my rescue.
Reflecting on those wonderful Sunday afternoons of years ago, there were leadership lessons to be learned which are applicable to much of life. I remember frequently complaining about the “hand I was dealt”. There was always something for me to complain about… not enough aces, not enough trump cards, too many nines, the wrong suit or perhaps one “jack of diamonds” short of a double pinochle. Worse, my partner bid when I didn’t want them to, the opposite of that, or passed the wrong cards… again, always something for me to complain about.
Becky’s family rarely complained about the “hand they were dealt”. What I learned from Becky and her family was this… the best card players learn to win with the cards they are dealt. Becky’s family members were masters at that… winning with less than an ideal hand. While I was busy whining and complaining about my hand, I wasn’t thinking about, or strategizing, how to play the cards I was dealt. This only made my situation worse, rarely winning, frequently losing, no wonder I was the last person picked as a partner. Worse yet, I blamed my frequent misfortune on the cards, and not the choices I made.
For many of us, life can feel like a game of cards. Are we sometimes dealt a bad card or two? Certainly. Are we sometimes dealt a bad hand or even a series of bad hands? Again, certainly we are. I know many people who have experienced way more than their fair share of “bad hands”. Would it be nice to be dealt four aces every time? Maybe. Would it be nice to win the lottery? Maybe. That just hasn’t been my experience in life.
My experience suggests good fortune tends to favor those who are prepared and those who are good at playing the cards they are dealt. Leaders reflect, focus, listen and learn… even when playing cards and are dealt a bad hand.
Be your best self this week!
Have a great week!!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”