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We were at one of those local indoor gaming centers. You order bad pizza and free coke refills for the evening, and you and the rest of your party purchase game tickets to the multitude of arcade games they have at their facility. This is not my idea of a great party, nevertheless, the team had voted, and here we were.

I wandered from game to game, watching our team members have fun playing mindless competitions.

Someone challenged me to a game of “Bop the Gopher.” If you are un-initiated into Bop-the-Gopher, we each were given large plastic mallets and faced off across from each other. In front of us were two tabletops with lots of holes in them. When the game began, “gophers” popped up-and-down randomly and rapidly from the various holes in each of our tables. My goal was to bop more gophers than my competitor while the timer ticked away. Mindless fun, and a good bonding experience as I was repeatedly beaten by our younger, quicker franchise team members.



Sometimes I feel like my leadership activities are simply an un-ending game of bop-the-gopher. Hiring, training, coaching, budgeting, payroll, customer relations, vendor relations, upgrades, contracts, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Bop-the-leadership-gopher. What needs attention this month? This week? This day? This hour? It feels relentless.

How are you advancing things?

Here’s the difference: while the real game of Bop-the-Gopher has no real significance, what we do as leaders advances things. If we are good at what we do, the “gophers” we bop change over time. The issues we dealt with last year, last month or even last week are different than what we are dealing with today.


Don’t despair, leader. If you feel like all you do is bop-the-gopher, take time to reflect on where you were and where you are going. Progress is being made!