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Is it Always Zero Sum


WIN, LOSE = Zero Sum Game


So, are you one of those people who sees every problem or challenge as a Win or Lose outcome?


Is everything a “zero sum game”? You know what that is don’t you? It’s when in a given situation one person’s gain is at another person’s loss. But, isn’t there always a “but”? But if a dollar just moves from one person to the next…it is still the same 1 dollar.


How about at work? Do you withhold knowledge for fear that it will benefit someone else…at your expense? And, sometimes it shows up when a new supervisor justifies, continuing to do what they did in their prior role instead of delegating tasks to someone who reports to them; “because they want it done right”…and they don’t trust that their subordinate to do it right. So, the new Supervisor “carries a full load”, and his or her subordinates don’t carry their load potential.


A Supervisor’s role and responsibility is to get more things done through the skillful direction of the diverse talents of their subordinates than they ever could accomplish alone. Otherwise, nobody learns anything new. Nobody gets a chance to take on new responsibilities. Zero sum.


How about Silos and Teams? In specific (not routine and universal applications) situations, siloed (or highly specialized skill areas), being totally compartmentalized makes good sense. That’s where you do your thing and then toss your results over the cubicle wall and yell “Done with my piece.” Or, maybe even “Nah, nah, nah, nah.”


The alternative to Silos (Chill, I looked it up.) is Team. When silos pitch in their product, 1+1+1=3. The proposition is that, by contrast, when team players work together 1+1+1 can equal more than 3, maybe 3+ or even 4. (You’ve seen it in sports all the time. Both teams have the same number of players; but time after time, a particular team continually wins. (If you don’t like my analogy…use your own.)


Now that I have your attention, if only because you have a bit of orneriness and want to see if I drop the logic stream, I’m leading you along…IKR:


Here’s an alternative to zero sum game playing. Don’t think that not winning leads to losing. How about Win or Learn? The only thing that will keep you from trying this perception change is…if you, down deep, lack confidence in you of you.


Go ahead…I dare you.