How to Win in the Game of Life

Me in Las Vegas April 2014Wisdom is wonderful thing. Unfortunately, most of us don’t acquire wisdom until we’ve put a few years on the calendar. Let me share some of the wisdom I’ve acquired, much of it from the school of hard knocks. I think I’ve earned my Ph.D. at that school.

Don’t Confuse Education with Intelligence

A colleague of mine, Kelley Coppinger a professional-in-residence in our university’s AD/PR department said that. I knew it was golden as soon as she uttered those words.

Two Kinds of Intelligence

There are two kinds of intelligence: how smart you are or IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and how emotionally tuned in you are to people or EQ (Emotional Intelligence).

Most colleges focus all of their energies on IQ but more forward institutions of higher education are recognizing the latter, for it is the one that matters most in the game of life.

Have a Plan

Everything is won or lost in the preparation stage. What’s your plan? You have to have one. You have to believe in it. You have to write it down and you have to follow it religiously.

Without a plan, you’re like a person driving a car without a destination. Any road will take you there.

If you don’t have a plan, then others will plan your life for you.

The Fundamentals

As a hiring manager, I hired for attitude and then looked to be sure the person was also trainable.

You have to acquire the basic skills and knowledge of your trade in order to effectively and efficiently complete the tasks that will lead to successful fulfillment of your plan.

It’s easier to win at the game of life when you already know what you need to do.


Zig Ziglar always used to say “You’ve got to have goals.” Goals keep you focused.

Focus on the now. Focus on the moment you’re living in, don’t worry about the past or the future. Worry about present moment.

Write your goals down and put them where you will constantly see them. They are your action steps, with target dates of completion.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline” wrote Napoleon Hill in his book “Laws of Success.”


Everything starts with having the proper attitude. Attitude is a choice. Choose wisely.

Life is not a straight line. Everyone’s path is guaranteed to be filled with twists, turns and pot holes.

Life is a game of adjustments.

When something unexpected occurs, make adjustments to stay on goal.

Success in life is not about what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you.

Show Others Why They Should Care

When you engage the people around you, when you involve them in the goal, they change. When the people around you change, they change the people around them. Roadblocks get torn down, problems get solved, good things happen.

I have a picture in my office at the university that I’ve hung in every office of every media organization I’ve managed. The picture has the caption that says if you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.

Winning is a Goal

Soldiers on the battlefield fight to win. Players on a sports team play to win. Programmers of radio stations play to win. Sales people play to win.

Make it your goal to win in everything you decide to do.

Win Together

Winning is a team sport. Make sure everyone is committed to each other’s success if you’re in management. Make sure everyone is focused on the same goals by having them written down.

Make sure you have buy-in on the goals.

Clearly define the goals, confirm everyone is in agreement and on the same page. Then have everyone commit.

Celebrate Your Success

As you travel toward each of your goals, be sure to celebrate every success along the way. Don’t be afraid to take chances. Make your journey joyful. Make others joyful too. Share the love.

Be dependable. Be consistent. Don’t get distracted. Stay on your plan. Have FUN.

Be Coachable

Even the best in any profession know that having a coach is important. Encourage feedback on your work from those you look up to. Recruit a mentor or two or three to be part of your personal improvement team. Offer to mentor others. We learn so much when we help another person in the game of life.

It’s Often Who You Know

I don’t care what line of work you’re in, life is a relationship business. Successful people quickly learn the importance of building relationships and support networks.

The best time to build a new relationship is when there is nothing more on the table than making a new friend, learning about another person’s goals and life experiences, and enjoying the present moment of their company.

Life is Reciprocal

If you do your very best at everything you tackle and if you care about other people, life will return to you all of the same.

The Bible says as you sow, so shall you reap.

Newton’s 3rd Law says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

And Zig Ziglar says:

“You can get anything in life you want,

if you just help enough other people get what they want.”


Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio, Sales

10 responses to “How to Win in the Game of Life

  1. All great points Dick!

    IMHO, you always want to be seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem, and your attitude is a big part of that distinction. Do you sit and complain, or do you jump in and take care of business. Being part of the team is not only good for the effort, it’s good for you in so many ways. It makes coming to work something to look forward to, not something to dread. I’ve worked with too many people over the years who couldn’t understand why they got left behind while others advanced. In most cases, it was because of their attitude and their unwillingness to really be a team player. In some cases, they thought they were better than the team, while other times it was just because their people skills were non-existent. The reality for many of us is that you make your situation, good or bad. Before you blame everyone else, look to yourself.

    Thanks for another thinking Sunday piece Dick!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dick, the team that gets you next will be very fortunate! Broadcasting IS teamwork; you usually can’t make double plays with only one infielder; always include local players and a versatile designated hitter. IQ is powerful but EQ – as in Equalization – keeps it in perspective. My first WBZ GM, Sy Yanoff told me, “It’s just radio…not arms & legs.” Certainly, the right attitude is essential with care, joy, love & fun. You can be right but the delivery must be correct. Teamwork with a purpose & timing is live TV’s greatest lesson as a director: “Mark your script, bond with your stopwatch.” All hell can break loose and you’ve still got it covered. Dependable relationships win. Radio is a game of hitting singles every inning, to sustain winning streaks. Action, reaction and agility to deal with life makes everyone a winner. Great opportunities ahead. Let’s “Get Together” – Youngbloods, 1969. Clark,

    Liked by 3 people

  3. spotmagicsolis

    Also this quote, ” You can get anything you want at Alices’ restaurant” Arlo the great, Guthrie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great thoughts for graduation – in any season of life. Sharing with my kiddos. And, you closed with my favorite Ziglar quote.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wisdom is wasted on the elderly, they don’t know what the hell to do with it and the young don’t wanna hear about it!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s