When I was in 5th grade at Harris Hill Elementary, Mr. Hougton taught me how to play chess. I fell in love with the game. I still have my first set that I bought at the Hippotamus Mall with my paper route money.
Chess is a great fusion of strategy and action. Although complex, the rules are straightforward. Bishops move diagonally, the Queen, as she should, can move anywhere, and white always makes the first move (yes this is true and a topic for another day).
So, if you are playing white, it's easy to know that you are responsible for the first move. But making the first move at work and in life can be hard.
The easiest thing to do is to freeze or react. It's what most people do under today's stress.
Some know that our emotions get the first crack at our experiences. They grab a P.B.R. (That's Pause, Breathe, and Reflect and not Pabst Blue Ribbon). This helps them to mindfully respond.
A few act. They know if they want a culture that values conversation, they need to start one. If they want a tribe that is comfortable with vulnerability, then they must show vulnerability first. If they want a peloton that is gritty, they need to role model resilience.
The few who act don't wait for someone else to dictate strategy and action. As others wait for someone else to make the first move, they are thinking three moves ahead. That's how you create a better tomorrow. It's also how you win at chess.
Today you are playing white. It's time to make the first move.
Have Fun Storming the Castle!
p.s. But don't move your pawn to f3. That opening move stinks. Just sayin'
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