In my design leadership class few years ago, I handed a bunch of chess and checkers game boards to students and asked them to get into groups and play.

The topic was the difference between leaders and managers. The game boards were used to clarify the concept. Students soon realized that like the manager, the Checkers’ player’s job was to build a winning strategy. Any chip can do the job since they all move in the same direction (forward and diagonal only).

While in Chess, the winning player needed to be familiar with each piece, move it according to its strengths, to achieve the ever-changing strategy thought of at the beginning. In a way, similar to the successful organizational leader who designs the strategy, influences others and helps them use their own skills in reaching a vision, all the while changing course to fit the new circumstances until they arrive to … checkmate! 

What game board inspired you with ideas to conquer?