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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Don't Get Overloaded!

There is a good quote from the book "Three Moves Ahead: What a Chess Can Teach You About Business"
about getting overloaded in business or in chess. I found the analogy very good.

"It's a common problem in chess ... known as an "overloaded piece"... For example, a Queen might be doing too much by defending several of her pieces at the same time. This almost always creates an exploitable opportunity for the opponent. ...

Avoiding an overload means attacking the root of problems and delegating, rather than just doing the undone things yourself. If slow sales are a problem find out why. Don't just hit the road yourself to close deals. "I'll do it myself" is the first reaction of any true entrepreneur but as in chess, it leaves the organization vulnerable.

Becoming an overloaded executive by doing other people's jobs screws up their own sense of what their job is, makes them think there's not much point in even attempting to do it themselves, and worse, has a similar impact on all the other folks who see it happen. It actually becomes an excuse for poor performance, not a remedy for it.

An overloaded executive is building an organization that is "one genius with a thousand helpers." Any success will be temporary."

The author continues to emphasize that it's also important to make sure all the people (pieces) in the organization do a good job, and there are no bad pieces. He cites Sarah Fay, the CEO of Carat, USA : "After the fact have you ever decided that firing was a business blunder? She hasn't and doesn't know any executive who has. Conversely, every boss remembers that keeping bad Bishops around too long, and creating, as they do on the chessboard, lasting structural damage."


Example: the most powerful employee (Black queen on f8) is doing too much by trying to prevent mate instead of delegating. An unexpected move (new "business task") Re1-e8 deflects the queen and enforces mate.



Chess Side Guide
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