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Chess Not Checkers

Elevate Your Leadership Game (The High Performance Series #1)

Mark Miller


List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (11/15/2015)


As organizations grow in volume and complexity, the demands on leadership change. The same old moves won’t cut it any more. In Chess Not Checkers, Mark Miller tells the story of Blake Brown, newly appointed CEO of a company troubled by poor performance and low morale. Nothing Blake learned from his previous roles seems to help him deal with the issues he now faces. The problem, his new mentor points out, is Blake is playing the wrong game.

The early days of an organization are like checkers: a quickly played game with mostly interchangeable pieces. Everybody, the leader included, does a little bit of everything; the pace is frenetic. But as the organization expands, you can’t just keep jumping from activity to activity. You have to think strategically, plan ahead, and leverage every employee’s specific talents—that’s chess. Leaders who continue to play checkers when the name of the game is chess lose.

On his journey, Blake learns four essential strategies from the game of chess that transform his leadership and his organization. The result: unprecedented performance!

Praise For Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game (The High Performance Series #1)

“Don’t let the highly absorbing story here fool you – Chess not Checkers is a truly fascinating and eminently practical guide to improving your organization’s functionality and performance at all levels. Any leader looking to effect critical change will come away with a new understanding of what changes to make and how to make them!”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times and global bestselling author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“As our opportunities and challenges grow ever more complex, leadership has never been more valuable. With his creative and accessible new book, Chess Not Checkers, Chick-fil-A’s Mark Miller has successfully demystified the essence of modern leadership. Recommended to current and future leaders alike.”
—Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

“Engaging as well as enlightening -- good storyline -- believable characters with real life challenges. I highly recommend this book to any organization looking for a higher level of performance. The four staples of high performance will stand the test of time”.
—Clint Hurdle, Manager, Pittsburg Pirates

“In Chess Not Checkers, Mark Miller has written a compelling and insightful guide to building a high-performance organization. Through realistic examples and instantly recognizable personalities, Miller has distilled four powerful lessons to benefit leaders at all levels of their careers. The book is entertaining as a novel yet packs profound insights into what it means to lead and succeed in today’s business world.”
—Chris Heller, President, Keller Williams Worldwide

“Mark Miller is an expert on leadership. His new book, Chess Not Checkers, is headed to the best-seller’s list. Check it out… it’s that good!”
—Pat Williams Co-founder and Senior Vice President, Orlando Magic and author of 21 Great Leaders

“To excel as a high performance leader, one must first think like a high performance leader. Mark Miller does a brilliant job of outlining the critical shift leaders must make if they want to move from playing small and simple to succeeding in large complex environments.”
—Linda Lindquist-Bishop, World Champion Sailor, and President, Courageous Thinking Inc.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781626563940, 144pp.

Publication Date: April 6, 2015

About the Author

Mark Miller is the author of five books, including two with Ken Blanchard. In addition to his books, he serves leaders through his blog: The site is rated as one of the top leadership blogs in the world. Miller also sells chicken. He started his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member and today serves as the vice president charged with leadership development for the organization.