Creative Leadership: Outside The Box

I’m playing a mobile game titled Words With Friends by Zynga. For the uninitiated, it’s a bit like Scrabble with some questionable definitions. The key is to form words with tiles and each player gets 7 random tiles apiece. Each letter has different points awarded to it and there are Double Word, Triple Word, Double Letter, and Triple Letter scoring boxes on the map that add value to the word you do.  And in some ways, it is a lot easier because it lets you know what is a word and what’s not. So some fun trial and error and head shaking can occur.

So the friend I’m playing with is also someone I have the honor of working with and helping to lead a team together. And let me tell you, he is CREAMING me. I mean down and out totally 100 to 150 points ahead in each game.

He tells me he can’t spell but I don’t know if I believe him. While I’m trying to go for these high level words for 30 to 50 points, he is using three letter words at their most valuable points and getting 40 to 60. It’s pretty amazing, a little frustrating, and honestly, humbling. Nothing will help humble you more than getting beat. Even if it is in good fun.

So while it doesn’t seem like you can learn leadership from a simple mobile game. I can and I do because I feel like life teaches us lessons everywhere we turn. And everywhere we are willing to learn.

And in this case, I’ll share with you three truths:

1. It’s not always about the higher level things you can do, sometimes it’s just about strategy. And a little bit of luck.

2. Don’t ever assume the people under you can’t teach you anything. If you do, you better believe that not only will you miss out on some amazing opportunities for growth, you simply won’t connect in the best possible ways for leadership to occur.

3. AG, KAES, and HETH are words I did not know existed.

Now you do too.

Image courtesy of



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