Are you playing checkers or chess with your staff?  If you are playing checkers, you see each and every interaction with your employees as having a few simple moves – single slides or jumps – and each has the same “skill set”.  But in chess, part of the strategy is learning how the individual pieces move and interact – a lot more like the average employee.  Knowing what makes employees “tick” and also how they can help move the company forward is critical to keeping your company ahead of the competition.  As leaders, we want to play games that make sense and grow profits, people and value.  The games leaders play will  determine much of what a company becomes. What games are you as a leader playing?

Being a Leader requires sharing a vision of the future with those who will help.  Both checkers and chess require end with a winner but the process there is where leadership needs a vision to get to the win.  A great vision will do the basics:

  • Grab attention
  • Focus energy
  • Arouse passion
  • Transform purpose into action
  • Compel
  • Commit people to action
  • Is the rallying point, and
  • It is short, to the point, memorable, repeatable.

To best explain how important a vision is, let me take you to a small business that builds very tiny computer chips. Two workers side by side in their “clean room” garb are asked by a visiting consultant “what are you doing?”
Worker one: “I’m turning these plastic and metals into a computer chip.”
Worker two: “I’m making an integral part for a computer that will be used by NASA to reach the space station.

A true leader designs the vision, rallies and inspires the team.  The vision gives the players the strategy to play chess in a checkers world!