Thursday, March 26, 2015

Reprise - Gary Kasparov & the Breakfast of Champions

By Pascal Dennis

Chess is arguably our greatest strategy game. More books have been written about than for all other games combined.

Chess has enriched our language with words like checkmate, stalemate, opening phase, end game, and gambit.

Chess has such a strong hold on the human mind that chess champions are notoriously eccentric. (Check out the recent, excellent documentary called ‘Bobby Fischer vs. The Rest of the World’)


Gary Kasparov, the greatest chess player of them all, is the exception to the chess eccentric rule. Kasparov is happily married, and a successful entrepreneur and author.

(After retiring in 2005, he devoted himself to confronting corruption in Vladimir Putin's regime. Things are so bad now in Russia that he has had to leave.)

Kasparov’s book about chess and business strategy is especially interesting [How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves - from the Board to the Boardroom.]

“What makes a champion?” Kasparov asks.

His answer: Frequent, frank, even ruthless, reflection and self-assessment.

Think of elite performers like Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods (pre-implosion), Yoyo Ma, and Yitzhak Perlman. We see the same pattern, no?

What's this got to do with you?

The Lean Business System is about elite performance. It's best practitioners ruthlessly self-assess, and adjust based on what they see.

Our improvement kata - tip of the hat to my pal, Mike Rother, is our driving force.

At Lean Pathways we call it Four-Step-Problem-Solving, which we teach through on site coaching, books [Pascal’s Amazon page] and other teaching aids [Brain Booster Pocket Cards].

But it's all about reflection - the Breakfast of Champions.

More about Kasparov in future blogs.

Cheers,

Pascal


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