There aren’t very many opportunities for me to play games, especially with my nephews. That’s why times like Thanksgiving are so valuable. This year, my nephew, Will, and I played the card game Speed and two rounds of Chess. The contrast between the games was interesting to me. As usual, I related them to business.

Speed – The name of the game is self-explanatory. Two players work as fast as they can to get rid of their cards. You don’t get to plan ahead, you simply react to the cards that are available to you.

Chess – We all know what chess is, but not everyone knows how to play it well. See, you can’t play Chess like you play Speed. If you do, you’ll lose fast. You can’t play a reactionary game in Chess. You have to plan ahead, several moves ahead.

After we finished playing our second round of Chess, I talked to Will about how those two games are different. I even told him that the same rules can apply in business. You see, in business we have to think several moves ahead. If we play the reactionary game in business, like Chess, we’ll lose fast. It’s not about predicting the future, it’s about planning your future. You make the decisions that you need to so you can get ahead. Just like Chess, you plan and make moves, but you also need to make adjustments based on what your opponent does. In business, that’s the market, your competitors, you customers, etc.

So, are you playing Speed or Chess in your business? Are you reacting or planning ahead? Are you taking orders or attacking the market? My suggestion, get up and make stuff happen.