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  • Writer's pictureMarty Jalove

From Board Games to the Boardroom: Elevating Your Career

Board games have come a long way from simple pastimes to powerful tools that can shape our professional lives. When we gather around a table, dice in hand and strategies at the ready, we're not just playing games—we're engaging in exercises that sharpen our minds and prepare us for the competitive world of business.

Shane Miears and Marty Jalove, Master Happiness
Board Games to the Boardroom

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The Evolution of Board Games

Once confined to family gatherings and quiet nights in, board games have exploded into mainstream culture with intricate designs, compelling narratives, and complex mechanics. From classics like Monopoly and Chess to modern masterpieces like Settlers of Catan and Pandemic, the evolution of board games mirrors the complexities of the human experience.

But what if I told you that these games do more than entertain? They educate, they instill soft skills, and they prepare us for the professional world. Let’s delve into the magic of board games and uncover the valuable lessons they hold.

Benefits of Board Games: Soft Skills Galore

Think about the last time you played a board game. Did you negotiate, make quick decisions, or perhaps collaborate with others? These activities are not just fun—they are foundational to developing soft skills that are crucial in the workplace.

Strategic Thinking: Board games require players to think several steps ahead, weighing the consequences of each move. This mirrors the strategic planning needed in business. Eric Zimmerman, a game designer and professor, notes, "Board games teach complex systems thinking, which is essential for navigating the multifaceted challenges of modern business."

Communication: Effective communication is key in both board games and the boardroom. Whether you’re convincing allies in a game of Risk or presenting a business proposal, clear communication can be the difference between success and failure.

Teamwork: Games like Pandemic and Forbidden Island emphasize teamwork and collaboration. Players must work together to achieve a common goal, much like project teams in a corporate environment. Elizabeth Hargrave, designer of the award-winning game Wingspan, says, "Cooperative games teach us the importance of listening and aligning our efforts with others."

Problem-Solving: Every move in a board game involves problem-solving. How do you outmaneuver your opponent? How do you adapt to new challenges? These problem-solving skills are directly transferable to resolving business obstacles.

Independent Work: While teamwork is critical, the ability to work independently is equally important. Games like Solitaire or single-player campaigns in narrative-driven games foster a sense of autonomy and self-reliance, traits valued in any professional setting.

From Games to Gains: Preparing for Careers

Board games don't just entertain; they equip us with tools to excel in our careers. Here’s how:

  • Leadership: Taking charge in games like Dungeons & Dragons hones leadership skills by requiring players to guide their team through complex scenarios.

  • Empathy: Understanding opponents' perspectives in games like Diplomacy fosters empathy, a vital trait for effective leadership.

  • Negotiation: Trading resources in games like Settlers of Catan sharpens negotiation skills, essential for business deals.

Why You Should Play More Board Games: B.A.C.O.N.

Let’s break it down with BACON, an acronym that highlights five compelling reasons to integrate board games into your life:

  • Build Connections: Strengthen relationships with colleagues, friends, and family through shared gaming experiences.

  • Amplify Creativity: Engage in imaginative play that stimulates innovative thinking.

  • Cultivate Patience: Develop patience and strategic foresight with each turn and decision.

  • Optimize Decisions: Enhance decision-making skills by weighing risks and rewards in real-time.

  • Nurture Confidence: Boost your confidence by mastering new games and strategies.

Shane Miears of Brass City Games and Marty Jalove of Master Happiness
Shane Miears of Brass City Games and Marty Jalove of Master Happiness

Dust Off an Old Game or Discover a New One

The next time you find yourself gazing at a dusty board game on the shelf, remember it's not just a game—it’s a tool for personal and professional growth. Gather your friends, family, or colleagues and dive into a world where fun meets function.

Jane McGonigal, a game designer and author, eloquently states, "The skills we learn in gameplay aren't just for recreation. They prepare us for real-world challenges and opportunities."

So why wait? Dust off that old game, or better yet, discover a new one. Step into the world of board games and unlock the potential to elevate your career from the board game table to the boardroom.


By embracing board games, you’re not just playing; you’re preparing, honing, and growing. Ready to level up? Let’s play!

From Board Games to the Boardroom: Elevating Your Career

To learn more about Elevating Your Career go to: or “Bacon Bits with Master Happiness” on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeart Radio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Or catch us LIVE on "BACON BITS with Master Happiness" on, Monday Night at 7:00 PM and start making your life SIZZLE!

Bacon Bits Radio
Bacon Bits Radio

Marty Jalove of Master Happiness is a Company Coach, Business Consultant, and Marketing Strategist that helps small businesses, teams, and individuals find focus, feel fulfilled, and have fun. Master Happiness stresses the importance of realistic goal setting, empowerment, and accountability in order to encourage employee engagement and retention. The winning concentration is simple: Happy Employees attract Happy Customers and Happy Customers come back with Friends.

Want to learn more about bringing more happiness into your workplace and life? Contact Master Happiness at or


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