My Friend: Eula M. Guest


Chess of Checkers


What tools are you applying and how will you implement or plan to realize those new strategies in 2014?


What part of the set are you on the chessboard?  Are you the King or Queen?  Can your business run without you?  Or does it come to a complete stop if you are not able to run it?  What strategies have you put in place to have your business continue when you are not available?    Are you the Rook?  Are you safeguarding the business without making the important decisions?  You have a small percentage not the controlling percentage of your business; you’re there to lend support and to keep the business running when the King and Queen are not available.   The bishops are limited in what roles they play in the business.  They may be more of a managerial role but have to go to the King and Queen for approval before moving ahead.  The knight  is limited and boxed into what moves are made.

Unlike the bishop, they just can’t move in business. They may be the lower executive. They have a supervisor that they answer to before making any moves.  Last but not least, the Pawn.   You are the one who comes up with all the brilliant ideas, concepts, and marketing strategies but don’t have any real defining role in ownership in the company.  You love the business and love helping but are not being acknowledged for your contribution to the business.  What piece are you and have you taken the time to define what roles you place in your business?


You are not playing chess at all; you are playing checkers. No real strategy at all, no definition of who plays what role in the business. You have partners and investors but two people are playing on a board.  One of you is the Queen and making most of the decisions.  Going into 2014 how are you going to define the roles of the partners? Will you continue to play chess or checkers in the strategy of running your business?

Techniques you can use now for 2014

  • Have a partners meeting in a relaxed atmosphere where you all can discuss your roles.  Have you all defined your roles in the last 12 months? Are you all happy with your roles?
  • This is the time to find out if people want to do more or do less in the running of the company.  Never assume people are completely happy with their roles.
  • This is the time of year when you may want to make more defined distinctive roles in the company depending on the industry. If this is not a good time for partners to have this discussion, then you all need to agree to have a meeting after the holidays if this is the busy time of year for your industry and your business.
  • Have a meeting agenda, and all the partners should have an equal say on the points to discuss at this meeting.  Remember it should be in a relaxed space and no one should schedule any appointments for after that meeting to give time to iron things out without feeling rushed.
  • Turn off all devices. No one should be reading text, answering e-mails, or taking telephone calls. This should be a frank, open meeting.  No interruptions, and have some food and wine to break the ice when covering some important points.
  • The strategy should be to make the business better and to not point fingers and playing the blame game. Leave all those issue out the door.  Keep in mind that you all started the business for a reason, so keep that in mind while having this meeting.


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