There is a saying in poker “if you don’t know who the patsy at the table is, you are the patsy.

And it’s not any fun being the patsy.

The other players take advantage of you, and you lose a lot of money.

Being a patsy isn’t just limited to playing poker.

The same is true for many professionals. They finally get a seat at the leadership table, but often come ill-equipped to play the game, or choose to ignore the culture and organizational politics part of the game.

But as Peter Drucker said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

If you show up to the table and don’t know how to play the game, you are automatically the patsy.

That’s like showing up at the poker table not knowing how to play poker. That’s stressful!

Some leaders think you don’t have to deal with the culture or politics part of the game, acting like a bull in a china shop that breaks a lot of shit.

But that’s like a player at the table making up their own rules and trying to convince everyone else they are wrong and need to play by different rules.

And still others think they can just be consistent in what they do and ignore situational awareness and emotional intelligence.

That’s like playing the odds of the two cards in your hand without considering the cards on the table, or the people you are playing against. 

Who bluffs? Who doesn’t bluff? What ‘tells’ do people have?

Now I am not suggesting you just put your head down and follow the rules blindly. You know I’m all about being uniquely you, but you don’t even know the rules how can you create your own unique way to play?

You’ve got to build a solid foundation before you start building a custom home.

How much less stress would you feel if you:

  • Know when to hold ‘em
  • Know when to fold ‘em
  • Know when to walk away, and
  • Know when to run

And now you can with Navigating Culture and Organizational Politics:

So quit being a patsy!

How about a full house, aces high instead?