Secret of boardroom success: mastering chess at a young age

“So much of life is about thinking about the people around you – what are they thinking? What are they going to do?” Lord Price, 56, said that a good chess player does not rush in, but rather, they stop and think before making each move.

Children who play chess have moves mapped out to the boardroom, says Lord Price

30 SEPTEMBER 2017 • 1:58AM

He has spent decades at the helm Britain’s biggest companies and most recently, representing the nation’s trade interests on the global stage.

Now Lord Price, the former managing director of Waitrose who is affectionately known in retail as the “Chubby Grocer”, has revealed the secret of boardroom success: mastering chess at a young age.

Lord Price, who earlier this month stepped down from his role as minister of state for trade and investment, said that the skills he learned from playing chess at school have proved invaluable in business.

“You need to try and understand the game from your opponent’s point of view,” he said.

“So much of life is about thinking about the people around you – what are they thinking? What are they going to do?” Lord Price, 56, said that a good chess player does not rush in, but rather, they stop and think before making each move.

“Planning, organising, thinking about your next move - that allows you to manage situations so you are never caught on the hop,” he said.

“It makes you more in control of your actions, as you have already thought about all the scenarios.” Lord Prince, a former deputy chair of the John Lewis Partnership, said that thinking several steps ahead is the “absolute foundation” of negotiating business deals.

“There is no doubt that games like chess that develop strategic thinking are really important to business people as they develop their career,” he said.

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