Hard truth: you’re the least valuable player in any game you play.
It doesn’t matter who you are. You could be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Ever played chess? The whole game boils down to keeping your king safe.
But even though it’s the most important piece on the board, it’s the least valuable, too.
All the other pieces can do cool things. They can jump several squares at once, or slide across the board. Even the pawns have a neat trick up their sleeve: if they can make it across the board, they can become one of the most powerful pieces.
But the king is useless. It can only plod along, one square at a time.
In your career, your bishops and rooks and knights are your talents and your skills. You can do amazing things with them.
And your pawns are your future. They’re your investments. They’re the people you’ve mentored. They may not be worth much now, but someday they will be.
You are the king in your own chess game. You get up, shower, eat, and move through the world one slow step at a time. You need constant attention and maintenance.
Your only value comes from being aware of your limitations. Realizing you’re no better than anyone else. That you don’t have all the answers.
Humility — not power — is what leadership is all about.
This article first appeared on the Varamark Research blog at