How I Approach The ‘No-Win’ Scenario

167 reads

In business, we are often confronted with problems that seem to be a no-win situation.  While I acknowledge that they sometimes exist, I believe that there are almost always alternatives that can be explored to find a good result.  I recently thought back to where this started in my life and realized that it was when I was a university student. 

When I was an undergraduate in college, I needed to take one more “lab class” (a course that gives hands on experience related to the topic).  I’d taken lab classes in science and the only lab courses left according to my counselor was a lab class in mathematics.  Now, I did fine with basic mathematics but the higher-level courses in Algebra and Geometry were just not my passion.  OK, full disclosure, I hated those courses.  So, when my counselor said that was the only choice left – I went on a quest, a quest to go through every single page of the course catalog for every single department throughout the university (except the Math department), to find any other class with a lab that I hadn’t already taken.  

After a painstaking search through the huge catalog, I found one course that fit the bill.  It was a course in the Hotel and Restaurant Management School at the university.  The course was in Enology(the study of wines).  The lab part was – wine tasting!  Now, you might think that I was excited at first but the truth is – I hated wine.  I really didn’t like it.  The only thing is, I hated math more than I hated wine so – Enology it was!

I took this revelation to my department counselor and he said – “No! you can’t take that as your lab!”  I said “Why not? It is a lab and it meets all the university requirements for me to complete my degree?”  He said, “because it’s unheard of to use that as a lab in this department.”  I then said, “But is it prohibited?  Where in the department requirements does it say that it can’t be used?”  He cocked his head and looked at me over the top of his glasses and said, “alright Misner, give me the paper, I’ll sign it and get out of here.”  I smiled and said, “Thank you very much professor,” and walked out with the paperwork to complete my Enology wine lab.

At that moment, I had no idea that the course I was taking would become a life-long passion (remember – I didn’t really like wine back then).  The course was much more difficult than students thought it would be.  We had an almost 40% drop out rate for the class because it wasn’t just about “tasting” wines, it was about the wine industry and wine regulations so the tests were pretty tough. The tasting was only a part of the class. Today, it is a passion for me.  I built out a cellar at my home in Austin (pictured here) that will hold 1,600 bottles (it’s not full – yet but I’m working on it) and I just started working on a Sommelier Certification just for fun.  This path all began because I didn’t believe in the “No-Win scenario” as the only possibility relating to a challenge. 

I share this story with you because I truly believe that there are ‘almost’ always options to a no-win situation if you work hard to find alternative solutions (maybe even push the envelope a bit). For the Star Trek nerds out there – I’d like to think I’d pass the Kobayashi Maru simulation (the no-win scenario mentioned several times Star Trek).

What no-win situation have you been confronted with and how did you find a solution?  I’d love for you to share it here.

Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author.  He is also the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI (www.bni.com), the world’s largest business networking organization.  His new book, Networking for Success (2nd Edition),  is available at bookstores and at Amazon.com.

Trending

100
cryptocurrency's picture

Billions Are Flowing Into The Logistics Industry To Solve Today’s Delivery Issues

Meet LiteLink Technologies (CSE:LLT), Creator of the Most Comprehensive Logistics Solution The Sector Desperately NeedsHidden beneath the booming retail economy that’s seen e-commerce sales double over the last five years is what some call the
102
businessstandard's picture

Beyond the scripted code of conduct

The resignation of Binny Bansal of Flipkart is the latest in a series of departures of heavyweight CEOs in recent months.While the background of each of these resignations is different, there is a common pattern with deeper implications linking them
113
sethgodin's picture

Avoiding the curse of the low-hanging fruit

A new organization launches and finds excited and willing customers. These are the early adopters. The nerds. The people who knew they had a problem. These are the easy sales, the folks who will wait in line. And then the curse can set in. You will
158
johnsullivan's picture

Attract Quality Candidates by Thinking Like a Product Marketer

Talented people are bombarded with opportunities. So many that yours could easily be lost in the crowd. There’s a simple way to make your opportunities stand out — package your jobs as if you’re marketing a product. I was reminded...
168
sethgodin's picture

An inconvenient shopping list

Cyber Monday (inspired by its evil cousin, Black Friday) is a symptom of our obsession with convenience. As Tim Wu has pointed out, convenience trumps privacy, morality and good judgment for too many of us–the internet has made things faster, and
148
johnsullivan's picture

A Wild and Crazy New Model of Employment

Companies today adhere to a decades-old recruitment process originally designed for in-person paper applications — a pre-Internet, one-company-for-life era that has quickly passed us by. The Internet increased our visibility of choice and ease of
192
sethgodin's picture

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken”

I don’t agree with Oscar Wilde on this one. In fact, almost no one else is taken. You definitely can’t (and shouldn’t) be someone who already exists, but the number of slots left is infinite. Each of us can work to become the person we seek to be. A
753
misner's picture

Dude, Where are my Wheels? Why Networking Helps – Even in the “Hood”

I recently visited Los Angeles and drove through an area that I grew up around.  I was regaling my wife with a story about a job I had in a pretty tough neighborhood when I was in college.  At the end of the story she said, “you have to
665
Harvey Mackay's picture

Resourcefulness = “Of Coursefulness”

A firm needed a researcher. Applicants were a scientist, an engineer and an economist. Each was given a stone, a piece of string and a stopwatch and told to determine a certain building’s height. The scientist went to the rooftop, tied the stone to