Be it corporate or politics, understand how the game is played

For those who follow politics or live in the Corporate world, or those who are following Bollywood SSR case, you will relate to this below.

Pic courtesy – Murali

Murali shared this picture and started the conversation! It was a lovely discussion and brought out many insights. So, ended up writing about it!

What is wrong with the picture of the chessboard above?

The board has Black and White pieces, however they are distributed on both sides. Look at the picture closely 🙂 This is how someone plays chess (or works through the corporate or political ladder) these days.

  • You never know how close the enemy is
  • Sometimes you have to make sacrifices of your pieces behind enemy lines.
  • Pawns are least bothered whom they are fighting against

Now, relate it to corporate or politics –

The team you work with, might be aligned with the enemy’s team (other team / party). Thinking about just your work scope and priorities to win and setting up your team goals to accomplish that does not cut in. Ensuring what the other party does/ plans and getting to outplay them is critical. So, the board depicts where your players are placed and whom they should (?!!?) be aligning with. So, how would day-to-day scenarios look like while operating in this mode?

  • Even if you have an internal meeting, you cannot be sure the enemy is not attending it
  • You never know who is with you or when they choose to switch sides
  • You know what the pieces can do, but not when as you do not know who is controlling them
  • Sometimes you do not know who in your hierarchy you can escalate for an issue
  • Sometimes you have more insights on your enemy than them
  • The thought about what team are you fighting for comes frequently to the non-pawn pieces (management layers)
  • You can take credit for any piece making a good move, if you are good at story telling
  • The winners side story writes history (as always)
  • Those who fall prey will never know which side actually sacrificed them
  • Tracking progress becomes very complex as the game progresses
  • Incremental wins are equally important compared to the final win
  • Are your high potentials working with you or against you?
  • No one can form a coalition with another in isolation
  • King makers become key to the entire operation, identifying one would be tough
  • Sometimes Queen is also not on your side (biggest right hand / key supporters)
  • You cannot express that you know the enemy’s move ahead
  • Anyone can plead innocence and ignorance, while everyone can be strategic at the same time

For ease of understanding the post, relate the above to politics, or SSR case in Bollywood, or corporate world when you feel you are not getting enough support from different layers of management. You will relate to every single of the above.

Appreciate the folks who go through these complex chess games in real life and play it for long! Also, appreciate the folks who leave the board (with or without losing their lives).

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One thought on “Be it corporate or politics, understand how the game is played

  1. Good one. Opens up so many levels of understanding. Trust no one. You can trust the one on the opponent side than the one with you.
    Murali M

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