The role of a leader is to take one person’s particular talent and turn that talent into performance. In simple terms, a good leader plays checkers. In checkers, there’s some strategy required but essentially all the pieces look alike and move the same way on the board. Now, a great leader? A great leader plays chess. They recognize that each piece on the board is different you cannot play the game, much less win the game, if you do not appreciate, leverage and deploy each of the pieces in their own unique and individual way. Good managers play checkers, great managers play chess.

  • Do you seize learning opportunities and focus on immediate performance problems for your employees?
  • Do you observe the behavior of your direct reports?
  • Do you work with the employees you are coaching to generate alternative approaches or solutions that you can consider            together?
  • Do you always follow up on a coaching discussion to make sure progress is proceeding as planned?


“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership.
That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”

-Warren Bennis

Finding People Who Make a Difference®
Leah Yosef International is a proud member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices, recognized by Executive Search Review as being one of the Top 10 Search Firms in North America with 80+ offices worldwide. To play more chess rather than checkers, please reach out to your Leah Yosef International executive search consultant today.

– Yosef Colish

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Play Chess, Not Checkers