Got Strategy?

As a kid, one of my favorite games to play was chess. In fact, I was my third grade class champ (it’s not really bragging if you consider that most of my classmates had never played or even seen a chess board).

Photo by Martin Lopatka on Flickr.

Photo by Martin Lopatka on Flickr.

I broke out the chess board just the other day and it reminded me what a great game of strategy it is – but so is life. I believe strategy is determined by deciding what is important and applying your resources (time, money, and energy) to attain your goal while keeping your values intact. There are plenty of things vying for your time, money and energy but without clear values, vision, and goals it is almost impossible to have success.

My company's mission is to help leaders and teams identify their bamboo and inspire them to water it daily. In life there are plenty of flirts and distractions that get in the way of what is truly important. In the game of chess the mission is clear: checkmate. Defining success can be more difficult in business and in life. You must spend time defining and refining success. If you don’t, you might find yourself in checkmate.

5 Lessons I learned from my 3rd Grade Chess Club

  1. What’s the end game? Be concise and clear about what success looks like.
  2. The person who controls the center of the board controls the game. Do you have control of your core values?
  3. At times it is wise to sacrifice pieces or position – delay gratification.
  4. Being too emotional can hinder your recovery from a good move or a bad move. 
  5. There is always tomorrow. You aren't going to become a Chess Master in a day.