You’ve Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em – Know When to Fold ‘Em

Here’s how I summarize the song’s meaning … If you don’t have the cards, it’s OK to regroup and try again. As I’ve said before, stumbling a bit or even failing is OK. Failure is usually a prerequisite for success.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan, basketball superstar

When you fail, you grow. And when you fail, be humble, admit your effort, confirm your intention and then, get up and go again. When you “Fold ’em” it shows you’re human, fallible and genuine.

But, what about when you sense you have some good cards, but maybe not the best possible hand? Do you hold or fold?

You have likely heard the expression, “Get your ducks in a row”. Its intent is to ensure that you have everything and everyone lined up before proceeding. Pretty good advice. It will certainly help to ensure your success but, in most situations, you’re not going to have every duck with you:

  • Sometimes we can’t find all our ducks.
  • There will likely be some ducks not facing the same direction as the others.
  • Some ducks may not even want to line up at all.

What then? This is where experience comes in.

Knowing if you’ve got the ducks you need is more an art than a skill. It’s not about ensuring you have a majority of the ducks, but more about do you have the necessary ducks to move an agenda forward. Here are some of the questions you need to be asking yourself about your ducks if you’re thinking of taking flight:

  • Is the timing right?
  • Will the result of your action make your organization better?
  • Is your intended action ethically correct?
  • Is it the right thing to do even if it’s difficult?

Do you have the ducks you need? If you can answer YES to the questions above, then you probably do. Your experience will be your guide.

So, when you’re deciding on whether you need to “Hold ’em” or considering if you need to “Fold ’em” … take a look at your ducks.

And remember this …

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