Checkers or Chess?

When my daughters were younger, I taught them what little I know about the game of checkers. We often enjoyed playing in front of the big fireplace at Cracker Barrel restaurants. I can recall when I was growing up how much my cousins and I enjoyed playing against one another in our own little checkers tournaments.

When I was in junior high school, I was introduced to the game of chess. Wow! I had no idea that two games played on the same board could be so different. All of a sudden, I entered a whole new world of strategy and forethought.  

Same board; big difference! Think about it. What is the biggest difference between checkers and chess? 

It’s the pieces.

Anyone who wants to win in chess has to first learn how each piece moves. Once I understood the ability and power of each chess piece, I was able to construct a strategy to win the game. Bobby Fisher, the great chess champion, often said that capitalizing on the strengths of each piece and timing their moves just right was the key to a victorious chess match.

Capitalizing on strengths and proper timing is good leadership. Great leaders understand that you can’t get the best out of people by playing “checkers” with them. We have to recognize that we cannot treat everyone as if they are the same.

Just like in chess, great leaders discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it. 



Do I have the right people in the right places?

Do I understand the power and strengths of each person?

Do I need to do some re-shuffling in order to place people into better fitting situations within my organization or church?

When will I start and with whom?