Are You Playing Checkers Or Chess?

The game of chess is fascinating, it is really quite simple in concept, yet it can be extremely complex and nuanced. I myself know how to play chess, but I'm not very good at it. The great players can see 20 or more moves ahead as they calculate out their strategy. I'm probably in the 2-3 moves ahead if I'm lucky. Beyond the game itself, the concept of chess is one that is well known. In sports or business, someone that is good at planning and seeing multiple steps ahead is referred to as a chess master.

What I've been noticing a lot lately is how we often talk about things like it is checkers, when in reality it is more like chess. For instance, I've been working on framing my basement. The concept is pretty simple, nail some 2x4's together so they are 16 inches apart and secure it into place. Easy to understand, but it takes time to measure and level and square up everything. There are details much deeper than the initial concept you have to know. I also notice it in conversations people have. They will explain something and it makes complete sense if you are looking at it from a 30,000 foot view. But the details are far more defined the closer you get to the ground. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. The intricacies are what separate success and failure, separates an average performance from a great performance.

If you can explain a concept simply so everyone gets it, like chess, wonderful. Now everyone is on the same page on what the general concept is. But you have to recognize you aren't done yet, the game has just begun.


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