Leadership Models & Settlers of Catan

Published on
May 4, 2015
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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Like most business professionals who work in the consulting space, I’m a big fan of models; shortcuts that we can reference or leverage in various client settings to address common business problems.

Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix. [Video]

Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept. [Collins explains in a video]

Nilofer Merchant’s Air Sandwich. [My interview with Nilofer from waaay back. Mind the hair.]

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. [the classic TEDx talk for those who haven’t seen it yet]

Simple concepts, all of them, yet robust enough to apply in many different situations, thus making them infinitely more useful than, say, a case study or overly complex model.

Perhaps unlike most business professionals in the consulting space, I’m also a big fan of board games. And I think there’s a correlation. Let me explain.

A well-constructed board game, like a well thought out model, is fairly simple and quick to learn, yet robust enough to allow for creativity within the confines of its defined universe.

  • Too prescriptive and its value is limited.
  • Too vague and it’s too frustrating for those involved.

Like a board game, the limitations of a model need to be clear and straightforward… but flexible enough to allow for robust gameplay. Creativity thrives within the confines of the defined and agreed upon structure. Nobody wants to play a game with no rules. Then again, Tic-tac-toe isn’t a whole lot of fun either.

Speaking of models, applications for the Actionable Book Club (ABC) are open for the summer cohort. All accepted applicants have the freedom to choose and write on a book of their choice each month… within the Actionable Summary format you’re familiar with. The act of choosing “the one thing” that most resonated with you from the book goes a long way towards putting the ideas into practice. The accountability group doesn’t hurt either. If you’re interested, applications are only open for a short window. You can apply (and learn more) here.