Chess Not Checkers

  • by Mark Miller
  • Narrated by Joe Bronzi
  • 2 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In his latest business fable, top leadership author Mark Miller tells the story of newly appointed CEO Blake Brown, who takes over a company distressed by poor performance and low morale. Nothing Blake learned from his previous job seems to help him deal with the bigger, more complex problems he now faces. The game has changed. As his new mentor points out, Blake is playing a simple game of checkers when he should be playing chess. Miller uses this metaphor to show how leaders can encourage deep, strategic thinking throughout an organization and utilize the unique abilities of each employee (bishops move differently than knights). He explains how to apply the "chess not checkers" mentality in four critical areas: leadership development, employee engagement, organizational alignment, and execution. This is an appealing, accessible guide to helping all leaders think ahead, plan their moves, and avoid getting checkmated by circumstances or competitors.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Chess Not Checkers can be an interesting metaphor for business strategy.

Chess Not Checkers is an interesting metaphor for business strategy. It's true and it's essential. This book does a good job of telling a parable of the potential for more involved thinking.

As a business strategy book, the story is quite simplistic and unrealistic - like a fairy tale - so I wouldn't recommend it to experienced business readers who will likely already understand this.

While not a bad book, it frustrated me because real life is not so simple. People fear and resist change - even when it is in their better interest. People make mistakes and and have a difficult time learning advanced strategies. Many are not even capable of the complex and proactive thinking required of an advanced strategy like chess.

I found the narration too slow and listened to this at 2x speed.
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- Steven "Adventure Scout"

Nothing new

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes because the novelty of a story vs. a list of concepts was nice.


What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

With the company being vague - pointed out at the beginning - made it tough to figure out how they actually did for the four steps. It would have been nice to have more detail on how the team accomplished each step instead of them hearing the step and being told to go do it.


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- Cloned3 "cloned3xys"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-06-2015
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers