B25… BINGO! I was amazed when I found out a hidden fact about BINGO, but it clued me in to something that happens a lot in business as well: we don’t see the whole board!
Sometimes, our eyes can deceive us. We may think we have all the information in front of us… but we’re really missing something.
And usually, when that happens, we make bad decisions or we feel the wrong way about a situation we’re in.
But if we knew the whole story, we might think differently.
I was reminded of this one time with a simple game of BINGO.
You ever played BINGO? Pretty straightforward, right?
You’ve got a sheet that’s got 25 squares on it and then five letters across the top: B-I-N-G-O.
Each square has a number and when your letter and number is called, you get to cross off that square.
All you have to do… is get five squares in a row in any orientation… and you win!
Well, I was playing BINGO and had my board and was ready to go. Number after number began to get called. “B3″… “G60″… “N32”.
At first I had a couple matches and crossed them off. Things we’re looking pretty good for a victory.
But then, as the letters and numbers continued to be drawn… every… single… one was missing from my board.
I was looking at the list of drawn numbers as it continued to grow and then staring blankly at my mostly empty board.
“How is this possible?” I asked myself. How could so many numbers be drawn that weren’t on my board?
Eventually, someone else won and I accepted defeat. But I needed answers, darn it! So, I went to the Google.
As it turns out that the 25 squares shown on anyone’s board are only ONE THIRD of the total.
There are actually 75 total squares and fifteen numbers for each column, even though any board only shows five.
It all started to make a little more sense at that point.
I was frustrated because I didn’t have all the information.
I felt like I should have won three times already when, in actuality, my chances of winning were still fairly low because of all the extra numbers that I couldn’t see.
And the same is true for you and I. Every day, there is a lot that we don’t see. Every time we’re faced with a decision to make. Every email we get ready to reply to. Every customer complaint or quality issue that we try to get to the bottom of….
Assume that each one is actually a BINGO board with squares that are missing. There is more to the story.
So don’t let your eyes or the information you’ve been given lie to you. Take a minute to consider what might not be visible right now and put in the work to find out those other details.
You’ll save yourself a lot of stress on the back end.
And… next time you play BINGO, just make sure you get the board with the right numbers to start with.
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