What Checkers Can Teach You About Success in Your Career!
If you have ever played a game of checkers, you know to win the game you need strategy and thinking ahead. If you can anticipate your opponents next three moves you can set them up and counter strike when they least expect it. Lets see how checkers compares to your career.
In checkers every move you make has a consequence and it is not your opponents fault. This holds true in your career. The first step in being successful is taking accountability for your actions. I think this has become lost in today’s work force. When I am out at lunch I here story after story about passed over promotions, mean bosses, and “if I were boss I would…..”. Granted, you may have a mean boss, you may have been passed over for a promotion, and you might be able to do a better job, but have you asked yourself what you did to be in this position? Are you treated poorly because you have attitude? If you think you can do better do you purposely do worse because you are mad? Every case is different, but in most cases your situation probably could be different if you had taken accountability for your actions and practiced strategy instead of content.
In checkers you must think far ahead and analyze every possibility to win the game. It is no different when you show up for work everyday. You must consistently be thinking ahead, and not just in your field. All companies have projects that require input and work from multiple departments. If you can anticipate these needs and have them ready or be first in line to suggest a well laid out plan, you will stand out from your co-workers who just show up day after day and do the assigned work only. The employees that stand out and move through departments to the top are the ones the stick their neck out. You may not always be right or have the best idea, but the key is to be first to suggest something.
In Checkers, when you have set you opponent up you must follow through or you will lose the opportunity: This is probably the most important point. If you have taken accountability, used strategy, and suggested new ideas before you co-workers, then you must follow up your foresight with action. If you don’t, the attention on you becomes lost and the company will re-focus on employees that will get the work done.
When backed in a corner in checkers you often use patience to seize a mistake by your adversary: Unfortunately, some companies do not inspire thought by their employees, do not encourage growth, and have horrible management, however, this does not mean a dead end for you. In circumstances such as this, you must be patient and find the right opportunity to seize. You can find it by learning how past employees have made it through the chain, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your management team, finding the things that appeal to them to start building trust with them, and most importantly knowing what they value. This takes time, but if it is done right you should be able to change you actions and work ethics to satisfy their needs, gain trust, and earn their respect. When they have these things, it will be much easier for you to achieve you goals in that company.
You career is and should be seen as a game. The more time you invest in strategy and learning you opponents strengths and weakness, the better off you will do. Imagine trying to play a game of checkers where all you could see is your pieces. You probably would not do to well. If you treat you job like this, chances are you will stay where you are and not achieve you goals.