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A Smart Way of Developing Business Acumen.

One gets better at Chess by playing lots of games.

José Raúl Capablanca said, “You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win. You will have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.”

When you lose a Chess game, it does not matter all that much - you can always just play another game. But losing in business, well, that learning can be far more costly. Is there another way, then, to gain these insights for business without having to lose?

To figure this out, we must first understand exactly what is happening when one plays a lot of chess games, and why it is beneficial. Whether one wins or loses in each game, the more games they play, the more they are able to start recognizing patterns in the game. As these patterns become more concrete in the mind of the player, they begin to draw broad concepts from them, such as those shared in the following quotes:

“The Pin is mightier than the sword.” - Fred Reinfeld

“Never play to win a pawn while your development is yet unfinished.” - Aron Nimzowitsch

As one gets more familiar with these patterns, the concepts become more hardwired for them and their game is bound to improve.

If the game of chess demands this much from a player, surely something more complex, such as running a business, requires a lot more. Most often, as entrepreneurs, we tend to go about our business journeys relying primarily on our instinct. Which brings me to a quote by Daniel Loeb, a hedge fund manager specialising in investing in troubled companies. The quote is this - “I don't like the word 'instinct', because it just sounds like a gut thing. I think what we call instinct is really a type of pattern recognition, which comes from experience looking at the companies and industries and situations that work.”

By immersing ourselves in the knowledge of business, through books, articles, and interviews, we can develop this pattern recognition. A powerful method is to surround ourselves with other entrepreneurs and engage deeply with them. This enables us to learn from their experiences, successes and mistakes, as well as the resources they are relying on. We can thus draw concepts from these patterns and develop our business acumen leveraging a community of entrepreneurs.

There are a lot of concepts that we learn as part of the LEC workshops. Seeing them and understanding them practically, together with other entrepreneurs, is what we are able to do in the LEAGs (Liberated Entrepreneurs Advisory Groups). Link

Let’s leverage this shared space to play the business game better.

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1 Comment

Feb 14, 2022

Recall I played a lot of chess on computer to come to the acceptance level where started forcing a draw or made it difficult for the same opponent to win easily. I have experienced what you have narrated above and totally agree!

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