Serious Gambling


On a recent vacation, we strolled through a hotel casino just to take a look around during the early part of a day.

There were rows and rows of electronic machines being played by people that, in my opinion, looked like they might not have really had the money to be there.  The beautiful and bright room smelled of poorly filtered cigarette smoke.

Then we saw him.  An older gentleman, thin and frail looking.  He was playing an electronic machine that was at the end of a row.  On the floor next to the machine was a large oxygen tank.  A clear plastic tube ran from the tank up and to his nose.  In his right hand, he was playing the electronic machine.  In his left hand, which rose up to his lips near his oxygen tube, was a lit cigarette. 

My wife was dismayed at the danger he was creating.  Of course, my first thought was, “Now that is a SERIOUS gambler.”  He was not only betting his money on his actions, he was betting his life against the risk of an explosion!

I see many people approach life, money, careers and relationships as if they are gambling.  Honestly, to some extent we all gamble in some shape, form or fashion.  However, I believe there are two types of gamblers.

Some people understand and have considered risks and rewards.  They make calculated gambles.  There is a goal and a plan, even if there are still some unknowns.

Others don’t consider the risk and odds.  In fact, they don’t want to understand it and are working hard to focus on the “surely this time will be better” school of luck.  They are making gambles on pure faith in long odds.

I also see these two types of gamblers as great examples of communication styles.  Those that consider their message and audience and those that don’t.   The latter group of people are much like those that gamble on faith and ignore the odds.  They ignore their audience and rarely plan their message.

Just as people believe, “this time I’ll win,” there are those that believe, “everyone will care what I have to say.”  For those that have this mindset, I submit that while they may ocassionally have success (maybe even a rare huge success), most of the time they’ll not only lose their money or their message, they’ll be surprised about it too.

Are you a communication gambler?  Do you consider and understand your audience?  Do you care?  How important is success to you?  Is it worth the effort to prepare or just more exciting to roll the dice?


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.