"Don't part with your dreams - when they are gone you may still exist but you will have ceased to live" - Mark Twain

"Do you know that this blog wouldn't exist if it wasn't for you being here to read it!?" - Bobby Gill

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Play To Win: How to be a World Champion!

Play To Win with Clinton Swaine

Is it possible to learn anything whilst playing around? Is it easy to hide in a crowd? Can you go from zero to hero in the space of a weekend? What does it take to be a World Champion? Well find out what happened to Bobby at Play to Win. We are all destined to go places and sometimes life just takes us there no matter how much we try to deny it!
"Do or do not... there is no try." - Jedi Master Yoda

‘Play To Win’ was a 3-day immersive experiential training programme designed to help people grow their business and investments far faster than they ever thought possible before. Unlike most courses and business seminars, where you sit down and take notes, when you join us at ‘Play To Win’ you fully participate in all the different business games and simulations. What that means is you learn faster and the learning stays with you.

Clinton Swaine is the world’s number 1 business games expert. He has a vast following in the US where every year thousands of people attend his Play to Win seminars seeking the golden grail to rapid business growth. In his early days he made a fortune and lost it. It was what he learned from his loss that made him become the success he is today. He was forced to learn the truth about business. He chose to set up a course to pass his newly acquired knowledge to budding entrepreneurs. What Clinton knew was that learning has to be fun. You just learn a whole lot quicker that way.

Clinton’s philosophy is based on the observation that:
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation" - Plato

My experiences at Play to Win

Now that was a weekend that I did not expect. Play To Win is about experiential games designed to help you learn faster, instead of reading about business techniques and then being sent away with a manual, you actually get to take part and learn as you play.

Some people think it is just about business or do not 'get it', as a fellow HMO property investor commented when he came on the just the second day and didn't come back to finish the course.

Then again I can only speak about my experiences and this is what I thought.

It is not about business but how we show up in business and life. The games are designed to challenge you in areas that you would not normally want to deal with.

For example there was Time To Market where we had to bring a random product to market and do all the marketing. We ended up doing quite well, though not too well as most of us did not want to end up on stage in front of the audience of 300+ people. So much for playing to win! The lessons here were about marketing, creativity and public speaking. And for some of us, not wanting to fail in public! Why do people self-sabotage their lives in order not to succeed? A fear of failure or even success perhaps!?

For the big Survive To Thrive game, many people stood back and let someone else be a manager and those that liked figures became the financial directors, not really challenging for someone by staying in their comfort zone and sticking with numbers. One person's nightmare is another person's dream!
When things didn't go to plan everyone just pointed the fingers at others and said that there was nothing they could do. So much for taking personal responsibility. I just wanted to have our team take over all the others and have one big happy team. World peace and everything or is that just one big superpower? Next time it may be better to just step up, take charge and change the world myself! What we learnt about during this game was vision, collaboration, systems, leadership, context, financial Management.

In Millionaires Market I did a joint venture with Odette and we decided to buy a bigger property versus lots of little ones. You shouldn't go to auctions when there are people bidding emotionally because they just want a house and not basing it on any financial reasoning or yield. Someone asked why we didn't sell at the end of the game. They obviously hadn't learnt that property is a long term game and the rental is still coming in :-) I also figured out afterwards that I could have done a lot more deals if I just offered a deal analysis service to other investors for a share of the deal.

The next team game was Entrepreneurial Empire about Corporate Responsibility, strategic planning, teamwork, systems, vision and financial management. I really screwed up in this one or should I reframe that as I learnt some big lessons!!
Helen T. who had previously played at Billionaire Bootcamp got to go first and pick her 'dream' team, I was honoured to be included as part of it. The idea of the game was to build parts of a company and grow it. My job in the team was to increase distribution and help out other members of the team where and when I could. We also had to build rapport with the crew, which is always easy when you care, though more challenging when they are acting as if they don't! It took some doing just to get a smile out of them, though bribery helped... I think many of the crew probably worked for their local councils!
Then came the time to fire someone on the team. I volunteered to leave and said there would be no hard feelings. The fired members had to go on stage and it was the worst feeling ever... even though I said no hard feelings and voluntarily left, it wasn't a pleasant experience. We were then picked to go on other teams and thankfully Rupen S. picked me first to be on his team and the first thing he asked was "why were you sacked?" Not a nice way to start at a new job!

At the end of the game Helen's team won. I went up on stage with them and foolishly asked Clinton if it was OK. He said NO! Cool, being sacked and rejected, so much for helping people win and being appreciated. The consolation prize? I shared in the prize money (being an original shareholder) but where was the acknowledgement in that!? Maybe if I had made it just about the money then that would have made it more bearable.
I had put the welfare of 7 other people in my team before my own and this is what I got to learn from it. Hmmm... where else does that show up in my life?

My apologies to Helen for what I did. She was a great boss and I took away her chance to fire someone and experience that. Also, I believe I was a great team member and the team would have won by a greater margin had I counted myself as an important and valued colleague. So I let them all down by not sticking around.

The final game was Pedal To The Metal an opportunity to test Teamwork, focus, systems, precision and speed. I sat down next to Rob, the guy with the sandals, as I'd spoken to him earlier that day and Helga the German lady. Then David came along and randomly sat down and completed our team for this challenge. Team Gaia was ready and our sponsor was Gatorade (nothing like getting into the spirit of selling out to the big boys...lol...)

Do you believe in karma or destiny? Syncronicity: where everything goes right, almost perfect due, to circumstances of the right people being in the right place at the right time?

The idea of this game was to do an assembly of a lego car and that 'Repetition creates Mastery'! We would build the car, break it down and then pick a sub assembly to do each. The world record was around 24 seconds and we started at 48.05 secs. We slowly improved and others were getting much better practice times. We were just consistently improving, I turned to the team and laughed that maybe the other teams had peaked too early! Rob was doing the rear wheels, Helga the front wheels and Dave the sides and finishing it. I had taken on the main chassis assembly as it required me to make sure I did my part and everything went together leaving me responsible in that area.
Rob did some recon and watched the team that were doing it the fastest. He came back and suggested a couple of changes, which I was uncomfortable with at first as I was getting used to the way I did it and we were getting faster. With the changes we improved from 37.02 s. to 25.46 s. Modelling a better team made us better.

Nearer the final race to win, some teams were beating the previous record and getting scores in the 18 s. region. Rob turned and said that we should go for the 'top 3' and I did my pep talk insisted that we would go for first. I was not worried about the times of the other teams, just calm and relaxed that we would do the best that we could.
By the final race we had done six timed builds and 10's of other runs in between to practice. Practice, practice and practice, led to consistent improvement and having a system to build the car. ensuring we did it the best way much quicker.

Rob did a talk about just being smooth and flowing like Bruce Lee and tensing only as we snapped the pieces together firmly. We then did a guided visualisation and my mind knew exactly how it went together and my fingers twitched as my eyes were closed in the areas where the pieces would be. We all remained calm and breathed slowly and just before we were told to go; took a deep breath, dried our hands and were away without a care in the world other than being present in the moment and doing what was in front of us. We were finished before we knew it and it looked like we'd beaten everyone else. We had! 19.20 seconds was our team time and the new record. It didn't even register in my mind or for the rest of the team.

I had avoided any leadership or winning all weekend and now, by just being good at what I did, the stage beckoned and I was there! It was a great feeling and the atmosphere was electric. Emotions were high for all of us and I have no idea what I said, I just know it was good. All our team were given racing jackets and the experience was great. I can't wait to see the pictures as a reminder of that day.

When asked how we did it afterwards, all I could remember was the part I played and the fact that four random people came together that day to achieve something brilliant! We achieved more as a group than we could have done individually that weekend. And the fact that it would take all of us to replicate the success again makes it all the more difficult for someone to find out (consciously) the secret of how a bunch of people can do wonderful things. Just know that it can be done when you surround yourself with those right people, either you will find them or they will find you and help you shine!

All I can say is don't ever shy away from stepping up and dare to win! That is what you are here for and when you do what you must, it will be more than worth it! Even if you don't win, it is still OK to fail as it is playing the game that counts and learning from the feedback. It is the spectators that don't get an opportunity to pass the ball or ever score!

I AM A CHAMPION! That was easy.

These were just some of the lessons that I learnt on top of everything else that we got to find out about, learn and experience at this wonderful event. Life is an experience to be lived, not a book or someone else's blog to be read.

Your investment to attend? Just your time and commitment to improve yourself and your business. Book now for the next Play To Win in London on Friday 13th-15th February 2009.

You will learn and practice powerful skills that will make a lasting impact in your life. Through a series of cutting-edge, carefully designed business games and simulations you will learn valuable skills from marketing, teamwork, precision and sales through to leadership, creativity and communication. These games are taught in a powerful experiential manner using room changes, themes and custom written music to allow participants to be immersed in their learning.

I challenge you to come and set a new record so I don't get complacent!See you there next time, Bobby

1 comment:

  1. That was wonderful weekend! Seriously, folks, if you never hear about Clinton Swain and his game theory before, and striving to play to win in your life , - promise yourself - to go to Play to Win 13th-15th February 2009!