Six Ways The Board Game Monopoly is Great Training for a Business Career

Since its creation over 80 years ago, Monopoly has never gone away. 

A big part of its appeal to players everywhere is the fact that it directly mirrors a lot of the best business principles.  Buying, selling, negotiating, perseverance, focus…these are all skills and traits business leaders share with the best Monopoly players.

It’s also not a game many people have patience for.  Just like a successful business career.

Here are six ways Monopoly can prepare you to be the best in business.

#1 – Sometimes it comes down to the roll of the dice, but you’re always in control.

I don’t believe in luck in business nor do most business leaders but sometimes some serious crap is thrown your way that you didn’t foresee and can’t avoid.  Good employees quit to work elsewhere.  Clients close their doors.  Your key contacts at your clients move around, jeopardizing your relationships.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Every one of these things can be a burden to bear.  However, by preparing in advance you can head off some of the worst that can happen.  At best, you can avoid relying on factors out of your control.[/perfectpullquote]

So it is in Monopoly.  Going to jail once in a while (in the game) or landing on someone else’s high rent property won’t end the game for you if you are focused on achieving your goals and beating your opponents through domination of the board.

#2 – You must build relationships.

A big part of winning Monopoly is negotiating trades with your co-players.  If they don’t like you or you’ve proven to be ruthless or unfair, no one will deal with you.

So, it is with business.  You must build trust.  You must build lasting relationships. You must stay in contact with people and be genuinely glad to do business with them.

You don’t need to like them and they don’t need to like you but you have to want to play the game together.

#3 – You must have a sense of urgency or the game might take forever.

To non-players Monopoly seems like an overwhelming investment of time they don’t have.   But, doesn’t everything worthwhile require an investment?

A sense of urgency makes all of the difference.  Driving the game forward and always being ready to play are key factors that allow the game to be played without the loss of an entire night of your life. 

So, it is with work activities.  People lose interest when a goal is not in sight. Endlessly toiling is no one’s idea of a successful business model.  Achieving levels of success – by seeing a completed project, or fulfilling a client’s needs – is what drives most workers.

#4 – Losing isn’t really losing.

You can always play another game, right?  Even against the same players.

Business is no different.  I’ve seen salespeople get frustrated when they miss out on a bid, or fail to get orders after a sales presentation.  Does that mean you’ve lost the entire game?

NO!  The game is constant and ongoing.  You always get another chance if you seek it out.  Buyers and buying influences don’t know every provider of a given service or commodity, as much as they may try to compare all of their options.

So, why would you ever give up?  Just because someone else controls the game board currently doesn’t mean it can’t be you next time.

#5 – The Lowest Cost is Not Always the Best Option

There are many ways to win Monopoly.

In the first block of the game are the lowest rent properties and thus, the lowest cost to purchase.  It is very rare that someone wins the game by achieving monopolies on those properties.

Similarly, Boardwalk and Park Place (the most expensive properties) are not always the best way to win either.  First of all, because they are expensive there are only two of them and thus only two chances for players to land on your property and pay your exorbitant rent.

Statistics have shown that the most ideal properties are the red and orange properties (in that order).  They are the most likely to be landed on and being around the halfway point of the game have a mid-level price.

Isn’t that the typical experience in business and in life?  There are times you want or need the Boardwalk and Park Place experience because the general rule that ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true.  Thus, it is the same with the lowest cost providers. You will never get the best experience and the best level of service and best products when you pay the lowest commodity price available. 

A fair price backed up by a solid product and good level of service is generally the direction businesses will head, sometimes after the poor experience of trying out the lower cost providers.

#6 – Games are the Future of the Workplace

People love games.  Everyone engages in play activity.  Everyone loves to achieve success in some way.  Games provide this opportunity.

Gamification of the workplace is one of the most exciting business trends in years. Finding a way to track the key performance indicators and then setting them up in terms of a competition, a contest or even just as a means of gauging performance creates a fun work atmosphere and an environment focused on success.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *