Are you at peace with your strategy?

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The Opryland Hotel was the headquarters for the National Show Choir competition and the US Chess Federation SUPERNATIONALS last weekend. A showcase about what’s good in kids today.

The pursuit of the American dream has a nomenclature.  Mostly business speak. And perhaps the most misunderstood part of the vocabulary is the word strategy. At the very least, it’s popular fodder for Dilbert.

This weekend I was in Nashville, Tennessee, for the national Show Choir competition.  My daughter Anna was one of 800+ show choir kids competing.  Each choir had its own strategy: her choir is committed to Rock N Roll…that’s why Anna sang the Stevie Nicks solo “Go Your Own Way” standing center stage at the Grand Ole Opry. That was cool!

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2900 chess matches like these happened simultaneously for four days. It’s the largest tournament of its kind in the world.

 

But us Glee wannabees were second fiddle in Nashville to the US Chess Super Junior SUPERNATIONALS. Neither the Show Choir kids, or we parents, had any idea we were dancing into the largest kids chess tournament in the history of the free world. We took second priority to 5800 kids playing 2900 simultaneous matches in three convention ballrooms. The brainpower was sizzling, and everyone was so happy!  The Opryland Hotel looked and felt like a hybrid of the United Nations and the Mall of America at Christmas. It was a great display about what’s good in kids today. That was really cool. (Did you see it in the national media?)

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Chess, chess, everywhere at the Opryland Hotel this past weekend in Nashville.. Many kids played over their lunch break, in between competition sessions.

Chess is a foreign language to the Batz family.  But this event made chess look sexy!  Even during the breaks we saw recreational chess everywhere.  Sitting. Standing. In restaurants and hallways. In the outlet mall, next to the pool and on the grass field outside the hotel.  Kids chess gone wild.

The good leadership moment came as I overheard an Asian father/coach explain to a group of 8 year olds why having a strategy was so important to winning chess matches.  His lesson: You must know your strengths and commit to playing that strength no matter how tempted you are stray.  And then you can be at peace even when you lose. Brilliantly poetic: the most misunderstood business concept made simple. To third graders, in the home of Minnie Pearl: go figure.

I know a few senior executives who would grow significantly from that 8-year-old chess lesson in the hallway at the Opryland Hotel.

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I counted 120 ROWS of trophies for the Chess Federation SUPERNATIONALS.

So, even if you aren’t a chess player and you’re long past 8 years old, what can we learn from this lesson?  Just ponder these two questions: Are you committed to your strengths, no matter how tempted you are to stray?  And, will you be at peace even when you lose?

Good leaders make a habit to look and listen to the world around us through a fresh set of senses.  We remember simple lessons to help us stay committed to our strengths, and be at peace – even when we lose.

Let’s start a ‘strategy’ discussion: what do you think about this lesson from the chess teacher?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

6 Comments

  1. Inspired IT Hiring on April 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks Paul – love the lesson but would tweak it for the optimist in all of us: commit to your strengths & do not stray, so you can be at peace …IF you lose… IF you lose!



  2. Inspired IT Hiring on April 9, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Thanks Paul – love the lesson but would tweak it for the optimist in all of us: commit to your strengths & do not stray, so you can be at peace …IF you lose… IF you lose!



  3. Anonymous on April 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Ah yes…I agree with your revision. If I knew how to track down the coach, I’d make this suggestion. Thanks for adding to the conversation.



  4. paulbatz on April 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Ah yes…I agree with your revision. If I knew how to track down the coach, I’d make this suggestion. Thanks for adding to the conversation.



  5. Steven Netsch on April 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Wonderful post Paul… Playing to your strengths is one of the most important aspects of success in most areas of life. Thanks for the good reminder!



  6. Steven Netsch on April 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Wonderful post Paul… Playing to your strengths is one of the most important aspects of success in most areas of life. Thanks for the good reminder!



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