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There are many different types of great leaders out there. There are those who are able to envision incredible strategies and see them through; those that can identify the strengths and assets of their followers and help them develop them; those who inspire us to strive for more. But no matter what type of leader you are, there are some great lessons within the game of poker about managing a team and leading a group of people.

If you can, try to think of a team you have led as a poker hand. Perhaps you started off with a group that consisted of a few strong players (aces, face cards), several mediocre members with some potential, and perhaps one or two obvious weak links. This is not unlike the average poker hand a person is dealt. As time goes by and opportunities present themselves or conflicts arise, you may let one member of your team go in exchange for someone new you meet that might be a better fit. Just as you do in poker when you pick a card and have to decide if it’s right for your hand or not.


The lesson to learn from poker is being able to observe a person for subtle cues to discover what they are good at and what they need to work on just as you would in a poker game. Once this has been assessed you must then decide how these perceived strengths and weaknesses may or may not affect your ability to create a strong team (or poker hand) and be successful. Use those same quick thinking and perceptive skills you use in poker games in your work life and you can find the right people for the job easily.


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