Professional Reading Saturday: Chess, Not Checkers

All week at Principal Matters! the discussion has been about leading on a split-screen; planning for next year while leading this year. Our Professional Reading suggestion for this Saturday relates to this week’s topic.  Chess, Not Checkers  is a quick read that can help you think about the critical habit of the leader who is thinking several moves ahead.

Mark Miller, Atlanta resident and the author of Chess Not Checkers, shares a tale of the fictional Blake Brown, who arrives at a new position to find a dysfunctional organization.  He learns that the game he is playing isn’t the game that he ought to be playing.  He jumps from one thing to another and finds that a more strategic approach will help him lead the organization successfully.  Blake learns four essential strategies from the game of chess that he uses in his leadership work to stop playing checkers and instead play the right game.

It’s a very quick read, but one that can help bring clarity to you as a leader as well as members of your leadership team.  For school leaders, it’s critical to play chess; those leaders who are waiting on the reactions never get into the strategic work that helps schools, as well as other organizations, move forward successfully.

You can get Mark Miller’s Chess Not Checkers at most anywhere you usually get books!




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