As much as we hate to admit it, it’s still very much a man’s world and female executives often feel as though the deck is stacked against them. Collette Liantonio, a successful female entrepreneur, not only understands the corporate woman’s strife, she champions the efforts made to level the playing field, such as women empowerment programs…
Enter Ellen Leikind, founder of Poker Prima Divas, marketing executive for Fortune 500s, and author of “Poker Woman: How to Win at Love, Life, and Business Using the Principles of Poker”.
Poker Prima Divas teaches professional women strategic poker techniques to enhance their business and life skills. In terms of corporate networking, poker is now the new golf and women are at a disadvantage, missing endless opportunities, because they simply don’t know how to play. As Leikind puts it, “In order to be in the game, you have to be at the table.”
So Liantonio invited her female staff members to the table by hosting a poker night in her home. After a Leikind lesson, we were on our way and aced the first few rounds.
Now, the genius behind Poker Prima Divas is that while you learn how to play poker, you learn something far more valuable. The way you play the game and the decisions you make at the table directly correlate to the decisions you make in your personal life and your career. Once you analyze the type of player you are, you can change the way you play in life and in love.
“Men play to win; women play not to lose,” says Leikind.
That statement rang true for me. As I took my seat at the table, a part of me wanted to cash out, break even, hold onto what I had rather than risk losing it in the pursuit of more.
I started out as a cautious player and the game quickly went nowhere for me. But as I grew more aggressive with my bets and more confident in my game, I actually became the chip leader! I realized that I can’t always play it safe; I need to take calculated risks to get ahead.
The takeaway was different for each person and that was fun to witness, as well.
Kristy Pinand found that she learned a little more about our colleagues and how we think and strategize which, going forward, will help us build stronger team dynamics.
Cheron Walden was always intimidated by poker, but discovered it’s not a hard game after all. In fact, it’s fun and it even helped her become a better negotiator. “Now, I’m a Poker Diva!” she proudly exclaimed.
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