I watched the movie ‘Searching For Bobby Fisher‘ when one particular dialogue caught my attention and has become a sort of a revelation to me.

In one scene, the chess coach places the horse, elephant, bishop, king and queen in front of Joshua, his seven year old student and asks him: Which one of these pieces is you?

The seven year old chess prodigy has no clue as he has not thought of it before and gives an innocent response: I dont know.

The teacher says: You are the King

The seven year old continues to look at the coach and the scene ends.

I was pondering over what ‘You Are The King’ meant and was pleasantly surprised at what it helped me realize.

All these years I was thinking, the Queen is the most powerful one as the queen can perform the moves just like a elephant, bishop or a soldier.

Now after hearing ‘You Are The King’ dialogue, it struck me hard and made me realize, the King is the most powerful element as long as the King knows how to use the power of his queen, elephants, bishops, horses and soldiers in the right way. It also made be realize the difference being a queen and a king. A queen can only do all that a queen can do. A king can make the queen do all that the queen can do, as well as make all the other forces do what they are best capable of.

This is by far the best lesson I have learnt on management.

As long you know how to make the most productive use of the resources available at your disposal, you are the king. Many a times, I have seen leaders, including myself, take tasks in their own hands and get the work done. What we do not realize is the fact that we can only do 24 hours of work in a day, as that is the maximum. At the same time a team of three capable resources can do the same 24 hours of work and much more in a day. Imagine the power of increasing this number (of capable resources) and you have out run your time. The key here is not only to distribute the load but also to identify ‘capable resources’.

So a typical management strategy for such task management would be:

– Clearly define and document the right roles for the work on hand

– Clearly define and document the steps to be performed by each role

– Identify the right resources for each role and assign the roles to resources who are capable of handling the tasks for the respective roles

– Review and repeat the same set of steps for the next task.

Many of you would say that this is a well proven fact, but for people like me, we need such experiences of our own to realize it. I am happy to have realized it in the form of  ‘You Are The King’ dialogue in this movie.

I thought it will be a useful lesson to know, if in case you do not know this already.

Let me know what you think.