You tick all the boxes, you attend all the right seminars, your histograms are a thing of beauty! So why are your slots results so tediously average?
(Published March 2021 inside Infinity Gaming Magazine)
Some slots managers go through life doing what’s deemed as appropriate by those who yield power and so that’s how they measure success. Their ultimate dream, their deepest desire, their benchmark of excellence and achievement is nothing more, nothing less than just mundane, stuffy appropriate. They do just enough to satisfy their bosses without moving out of their comfort zone. They go to great lengths to avoid words like controversy and objection. They are usually technically excellent, their slot machines look immaculate, their check lists are ticked to near perfection and the organization and cleanliness of their tech shops is something even the most prestigious Six Sigma master black belt would be proud of, but are they really managers?
Slot managers as described above are victims of the lizard brain syndrome and if your bosses goal is to avoid problems rather than focusing on success, then stop reading before you get ridiculed and thrown under your self made bus of inevitability. If you’re one of the infinitely curious or enjoy a heated debate along with a healthy dose of controversy, then continue reading and start resisting your inner lizard.
Who is the illusive character they call the lizard? The lizard has been around since the beginning of time and is like a daemon that stops us from achieving greatness. The lizard is constantly scared, hungry, angry and it’s only ambition is to eat, breed and be safe. The lizard brain cares only about what others think because status is everything and they crave the acceptance of the crowd. They avoid conflict, shy away from disagreement and will always run for cover when the going gets tough. The ancient Greeks described the lizard as another being living inside of us, the inside part of you that makes you feel anguish and gets you to shut up, put your blinkers on and do what you’re told. The lizard stops your genius from shining and prevents you from writing your own script instead of living the inevitable tragedy of the procedures manual.
How will I recognize when the lizard is on the offensive? In order to successfully resist your inner lizard, it’s important to be aware of their inevitable presence. The lizard is a cunning wizard who appears when you least need them, making them difficult to detect. If any of the following happen, your lizard brain is in control and you should resist before you dig yourself a hole that will scare away your ambition and make success become synonymous with avoiding failure:
- Your boss has a theory that lowering the slots payback percentages by 4 percent across the board will increase coin in and attract more customers and you agree.
- Your floor supervisors spend most of their time taking to each rather than to the customers. You ignore this while choosing to say nothing in order to avoid possible confrontation and any negative comments about your leadership skills.
- The marketing department decides it might be a good idea to give away $100 in free play to all hotel guests with the theory that they will play it, lose it and then play more of their own money. You don’t agree with this but because the marketing manager is a ‘can do no wrong’ friend of the boss, you decide to remain silent.
- Your slot attendants are ready to quit because of a change in policy that wiped out 75% of their tips overnight and all you do is offer sympathy instead of doing your job and defending your team.
How do you get your lizard under control and transform average into greatness? To become a great slot manager technical ability is an essential requirement of the job. However, your technical abilities alone will not secure your success. You lizard brain knows this and will do everything in its book of tricks to disrupt you vision. It will invent illnesses, create distractions and sabotage your best ideas in order to keep your genius locked away. A true leader laughs at the lizard, torments the lizard and learns how to beat the lizard at it’s own game by doing the exact opposite of what the lizard wants by making success their new best friend no matter the obstacles the lizard throws in their way. Following are some tips your lizard will definitely not like:
- Don’t fear failure – It is said that it took Thomas Edison over a 1000 failures before he gave us light and changed the world. His teachers at school said he was “too stupid to learn anything” and he was even fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” His initial failures didn’t hold him back, his persistence and resistance against his lizard brain took him from a nobody to the history books, so what are you waiting for? Failure is how we learn, so tell yourself that failure is just another bump in the road to success, embrace it and encourage others to do the same. Using failure to your advantage will have your lizard running for the hills and success knocking at your door.
- Feel comfortable with the uncomfortable – Inevitably it’s impossible to know everything and for your lizard brain, the less you know, the better. However, it’s a well-known fact that without venturing outside of our comfort zone we literally stand still in time and space. Dealing with the unknown can cause our anxiety levels into overdrive but anxiety is nothing more than fear about fear, it’s imaginary although your lizard brain will tell you otherwise. Stepping outside our comfort zone is part of the reaching our full potential process as individuals and as part of the human race. When you turn being comfortable with the uncomfortable into a habit for long enough it becomes as natural as breathing, touching and blinking. When this happens, your lizard has already lost.
- Question everything – In the short term, keeping quiet and being a ‘yes man’ might earn you a few brownie points with your boss and keep your lizard happy, but it will gradually erode your character, lose you the respect of your peers, and ultimately transform you into just another zombified lizard king tragedy. Imagine what life would be like if Nikola Tesla hadn’t invented the induction motor, if the Wright brothers hadn’t built the first airplane and if Charles Fey hadn’t invented the Liberty bell slot machine. The greatest inventions start with the need to solve a problem and between the idea and success there are inevitably a lot of questions. Start asking yourself how, why, what and where at every opportunity. Question conventions, traditions, technology your boss, your staff….and the list goes on. Your lizard won’t like it but who’s in charge?
- Lead from the front – A leader is not a great friend of the lizard simply because leaders have to take action, they can’t afford to fear the unknown. Great leaders know their lizard and they make peace with their daemons and keep them in check. Leaders always have a dynamic plan, they take risks, learn from their mistakes and lead from the front by inspiring others to reach their own full potential by clarifying expectations, encouraging their team to accept responsibility, get involved and chase excellence at every opportunity. This is where the strength of the team defeats the lizard resistance at every turn.
Conclusion: Your lizard detests debate, hates innovation runs away from change and will attempt to crush your ability for critical thinking with a passion. Your lizard wants to make your plans, control your destiny, keep you in shackles and write your script, so what are you going to do about it? The good news is that it’s never too late to fight back, so act now, defeat your lizard and achieve the greatness that you always knew was possible.