In Business, Good Managers Play Chess While Others Play Checkers
Posted Monday, Sep 17, 2012 by
Business is a game everyone wants to win. But what game are you playing?
Many managers play checkers. But you should be playing chess. What’s the difference?
* The Pieces: In checkers, all your pieces are the same. They look alike, have the same value and perform the same functions. In chess, the pieces are different, and each has a specific set of strengths and weaknesses. And some pieces are far more valuable than others.
* Direction: In checkers, there’s only two ways to move: Forward and backward. In chess, the entire board is in play. Certain pieces move from side to side, some diagonally and others at right angles.
* The Strategy: Checkers only requires you to think one or two moves ahead. Good chess players think four, five or even six moves ahead. Chess is all about the “long game.”
So why should you, as a manager, be playing chess instead of checkers?
* Your People: Every person you manage is an individual. Each has a unique set of talents, experiences, skills and weaknesses. You need to identify what each person brings to the table, assign each team member to the job that best suits his or her personality and communicate with each person in a way that yields the best result.
* Your Direction: In business, the “target” is always moving. You need to adjust your operations to move with it. Victory goes to the fast and nimble.
* Your Strategy: For decades, many experts have criticized American business leaders for looking no further than the next quarterly report when they should be thinking one, five or even 10 years ahead. Like a good chess player, you should play the long game. Sometimes this means making short-term sacrifices to set the stage for major gains in the future.
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