Sunday, March 13, 2005

Chess and Management

John Moore of Brand Autopsy summarizes the key takeaways from Marcus Buckingham's book "The One Thing You Need to Know". His first lesson:

Great managers play chess, not checkers

Average managers play checkers, The One Thing You Need To Knowwhile great managers play chess. The difference? In checkers, all the pieces are uniform and move in the same way; they are interchangeable. You need to plan and coordinate their movements, certainly, but they all move at the same pace, on parallel paths. In chess, each type of piece moves in a different way, and you can’t play if you don’t know how each piece moves.

Great managers know and value the unique abilities and even the eccentricities of their employees, and they learn how best to integrate them into a coordinated plan of attack.

I suspect that this works only as an analogy; I would be surprised if chess players show more aptitude for management or success as managers than the general population. In fact, based on some of the chess players I know just the opposite may be true.

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