9 Characters of Leadership – The Chess Player Leader

The Chess Player is the strategist of the leadership world. The Chess Player leader plots their way through a plan from point a to point b to point c. Positional planning is their forte and they are content to deliver steadily and continuously all day, with an occasional massive triumph. They know that consistent, planned performance will win most of the time against all other styles. This highly strategic leader gets the most from their leadership when they are thinking clearly, and using their minds throughout the day.

Nothing flashy about their behaviour for the most part, these leaders are good in all aspects of the business and tend to manage everything efficiently and well.

These are the scorers in the game of business – they may appear to showing-off but that is due to their considerable skill and focus.

All leaders would like to consider themselves to be such leaders, understanding the ‘art of war’ and the plethora of books on strategic management. But that’s just it, the vast majority of strategists are managers, not leaders (except by title).

These leaders understand the environment, the context, the shifting positions of the competition and play a solid game along known successful routes, not too greedy and with contingencies for rough times. They understand foremost, who they are and what drives them, secondly they know their people and leverage their strengths and deploy all their resources to best effect.

This leadership characteristic is most ideally exemplified by Jack Welch, Walter Shipley, Howard Schultz, Tony Blair.

How to develop the Chess Player Leader

Chess player leaders are learners above all else. They will constantly seek to learn more, challenge themselves and prove themselves.

Many that we have come across are senior leaders and studies either finance or law in their early years.

Almost every chess player leader I have encountered keeps a personal journal, reviewing and reflecting on their own day and learning from it.

They epitomize Dr John C. Maxwell's Law of Process: “Leadership develops daily, not in a day.”

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