Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Your Chess Coach: Become a Strategist - Learn Chess!
An article by Laura Sherman, reproduced here with the permission of the author. Become a Strategist - Learn Chess! By Laura Sherman Ever sat there with your head in your hands wondering what went wrong in your business? Could it be that you just missed "the right move"? When you play many games of chess you learn to look ahead into the future and plan several moves deep. You learn to predict outcomes. Yes, the over-the-board lessons do translate to life. I learned to play chess when I was a little girl. I loved the game, but hated losing. I was usually the youngest person at any tournament or club event I entered and was often the only girl there. As a result other participants would gather around my table and watch my games, interested to see what I could do. Because of the added attention I played every game to the best of my ability, treating each battle as if everything was on the line. I spent a lot of energy on each move, making sure it was the best possible move I could make in the time allotted. And if I made a mistake in one game you’d better believe that I did everything I could to learn from that error, making sure I didn’t make it again. I developed intricate plans and strategies, which had back-up plans in case I had missed something. Each move I made had more than one idea behind it, more than one tactic to ensure success and ultimately victory. Now you might think with all this caution that I was a timid player. Not so! I was actually very aggressive and attacked my opponent’s king with gusto each game. I wasn’t afraid to sacrifice a couple of pawns or even a piece to get a glorious attack. I learned which sacrifices worked and which did not lead to a win, but I enjoyed the living-on-the-edge type games the most. When you become experienced at chess and you care about the outcome, you develop good habits in life. Today I love a challenge and will take on mammoth tasks, but will think through every step carefully. I create back-up plans for my back-up plans and even some of those will have back-up plans. When it comes to business and marketing you can’t be shy. Put yourself out there - live on the edge. And it isn’t that I never make mistakes, but when I do, you’d better believe that I learn from them! Laura Sherman founded Your Chess Coach (www.YourChessCoach.com) with her husband, Dan Sherman. Together they teach children [and this adult] to play chess through various schools in Pinellas County, Florida, as well as online. They are currently working with a company in Los Angeles, Real Ability, to create a series of e-courses and books that will teach parents and educators how to teach chess properly to children.