The ancient poet Virgil once said, “Fortune sides with him who dares.” I can’t help but imagine he was talking about playing video games.
The risks were high in the 80’s: constant risk of radiation poisoning from sitting inches away from a 13’ Zenith, or the threat of carpel tunnel after gripping a controller for hours on end; not to mention the pure hazard of passing out after emptying your lungs into the bottom of a video game cartridge.
I haven’t owned a video game in nearly two decades, but the result of my blistering obsession as a child has finally paid off! I didn’t realize it until now, but one game in particular shaped my entire view on business and my career: Frogger.
On the surface, it’s a very simple game. Cross the street or stream and don’t croak. Hidden in the simplicity is a valuable business lesson: the path to success is never a straight line. Often times it’s riddled with decisions moving you laterally, and even backwards, to find the right path forward.
Gone are the days of blazing a trail down the straight and narrow path. The key to Frogger, and in business, is to think strategically, tactically and with purpose.
Today, the corporate ladder has been pushed over, cut to pieces and tossed into the river. Only to float back and forth like the very logs I mastered as a child in this simple game. In order to win, you have to move laterally, patiently waiting until the right opportunity presents itself. It’s important to remember, timing is everything. Stay put too long and get washed away. Jump too early and sink. (Are we still talking about video games?)
Unlike Frogger, you can’t just re-start the game each time you make a mistake, bouncing back unscathed with no sign of failure. The stakes are much higher here, in real life. But remember, the controller is in your hands — game on!