Sticking to Your Guns

Jan 15, 2010

As you may know, I’ve been playing a lot of poker lately, and blogging my journey at Counting the Odds.

I love poker because, to me, it’s a very nice interesection of math and human behavior, with a bit of luck thrown in. There’s one thing about my experience so far that’s made me think, though.

I’ve been on a relatively good run over the last month, but there have been up and downs. There are certain streaks when I keep losing money, and it makes me wonder if I’m really just not that good. But I think poker has taught me to trust myself, and keep at what I’m doing. Of course, that’s not the full story. If things continually go wrong, you need to reflect and see where you’re at, and adjust accordingly. The challenge is to find the right balance.

And I think it’s the same in life. Things won’t always go your way, sometimes you don’t get the results you want. The challenge is to determine whether it’s just a short term lull which will improve if you keep sticking to your guns, or whether it’s really a flaw in your strategy which you need to adjust.

I know Einstein said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, but sometimes, I think that does happen. Especially if you get caught up in the short term results.

How do you decide when you should stick to your guns; at what point do you decide that you have to change your strategy?

Strategy above Tools

Jun 26, 2008

Slightly over a week ago, France were knocked out of the Euro 2008 Championships. Personally, I’m not really surprised, but there are some who were, and understandably so.

On paper, the French have a great team. They should be good enough to match any other squad. They’ve got the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Karim Benzema, Frank Ribery , Saloman Kalou, the list goes on. On paper, they’ve got really talented players.

So why am I not surprised that they failed? Because of their manager, Domenech. Yes, I don’t have his experience, and it’s a lot easier to criticize from here. But that said, he does not seem to know his best team. He doesn’t seem to have been able to build a good atmosphere within the team. And his tactics have been criticized by both past and present players.

I’m not really sad to have seen France go out of the tournament, but it does serve as a lesson for us. It’s not just about the talent you have at your disposal. It’s about how you manage it, and how you plan and make use of what you have – people, tools, anything.

Your strategy is just as, if not more, important than the tools.

How are you using the things you have?