Chess Not Checkers

Last week, I wrote about the untapped potential and competitive advantage resident in our people. Today, I am excited to introduce my new book, Chess Not Checkers. It is a blueprint for unleashing the talents, passion and creativity of your entire workforce. Although the book will not officially be launched until the first week in April, I couldn’t wait to begin sharing the content. So today will be the first of several posts in which I’ll write about key concepts and best practices for creating a high performance organization!
From the Introduction of Chess Not Checkers
Leading has never been easy. From our first experiment trying to get our classmates to follow us or receiving our first official assignment at work, leadership has always demanded our best effort. That hasn’t changed—but something else has: the complexity of the problems we face and the organizations we lead has increased exponentially.
Perhaps this complexity finds its energy in the scope of your enterprise, or it may merely be a function of increased volume. These are great problems to have . . . if leaders can orchestrate an appropriate response.
Unfortunately, for many leaders, our past successes just don’t translate. The game has literally changed before our eyes. The methods that worked extremely well in the past no longer have the same effect. In many cases, the tried and true has become the tired and tarnished.
Most of us began our leadership journey utilizing an approach with striking similarities to the game of checkers, a fun, highly reactionary game often played at a frantic pace. Any strategies we employed in this style of leadership were limited, if not rudimentary.
The opportunities in our world for leaders to play checkers and be successful are dwindling.
The game today for most leaders can better be compared to chess—a game in which strategy matters; a game in which individual pieces have unique abilities that drive unique contributions; a game in which heightened focus and a deeper level of thinking are required to win.
Although Chess Not Checkers provides a rich metaphor for leaders, it is much more than that. The game of chess contains four specific parallels that can inform and transform any organization seeking new levels of performance. I’ve positioned each of these ideas as a “move” your organization can make to draw closer to your goals. Collectively, these moves can be your blueprint for sustained high performance.
Is it possible you may be playing checkers when the game is chess? If that is your situation, today can be the day you start learning a new game.
It’s your move!
More and about the four moves and the best practices which power them in the weeks to come…[GLS_Shield]
thumbnail

Leave a comment



Brandy Fairbanks

6 years ago

Mark,
I am a Area Director for three Chick-fil-A’s and my main purpose is to build and developed our leadership team. I am so thankful for your emails. I put together a bi-weekly leadership newsletter for my team and include a development piece. I am able to take your emails and use those to help coach ad develope my teams. Your books are another item I use, not only for my own development, but also in a book read with some of my leaders. I can’t wait til April to read your latest book!! Thank you for what you do!

Mark

6 years ago

Thank you, Brandy! I appreciate your encouraging words. I have good news: you won’t have to wait until April. Your Operator will receive an advance copy of Chess Not Checkers at our upcoming NEXT event. After you’ve read it, I would love your feedback! Thanks for spreading the word – Great Leaders Serve! Mark

Mike Lambert

6 years ago

As always, I am very excited about your new book Mark. I’ve pre-ordered and can’t wait for its arrival in April. Congratulations.

Mark

6 years ago

Thank you, Mike! If you’re a subscriber to this blog, watch your email – I’ll be giving away FREE copies of Chess Not Checkers in the next few weeks. You can give away the copy you pre-ordered 🙂 Thanks!

Robert Black

6 years ago

Looking for advice for a growing business and for our fire department. Thanks

Mark

6 years ago

Robert, I would love to help you grow your business – not too sure about helping you grow the fire department 🙂 I trust this blog is helpful. If you have specific questions, please send them to Mark@GreatLeadersServe.com. Have a great day! Mark

Suzanne - SuzSaver etc

6 years ago

Astute allegory for the leadership game.
It is especially important for leaders to realize that every part of a team is essential for its success and equally important.
Discovering strengths of each team member, and using those strengths to support their weaknesses is vital.
When empower each team member to see the important role they play in the organization, the organization can realize greater success.

Mark

6 years ago

Suzanne, I agree completely! What you are describing is included in the second ‘move’ all High Performance Organizations make. I call it, Win the Heart. I’ll write more about this in the weeks to come. Thanks for joining the conversation! Mark

Jackie Wilmot

6 years ago

Dear Mark,
First let me thank you for the advanced copy of Chess not Checkers. I just finished reading it and it was excellent. Although I serve as an Executive Director of Business Operations for a church, I could not put it down. We recently lost our Senior Pastor, his wife and our Senior Associate and as I read this book I couldn’t help but to think about my new boss and what he is going through. Also, thank you for sending two copies, so I can pass that one along to him instead of giving him my highlighted copy. Thank you again. I was also looking for the organizational assessment that it spoke about at the end of the book.

Mark

6 years ago

Thanks for your comments Jackie. I’m glad you found the book helpful. Regarding the assessment, you can find it on the resource page. Thanks for sharing Chess Not Checkers! Mark

Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved