A fictional character who took to heart Warren Buffet’s advice about reading (dot #3110) is Elizabeth Harmon, the chess prodigy that is the star of The Queen’s Gambit. The show follows the trials, addictions, winning, and losing of its star Beth who goes from a young orphan to a world-wide chess competitor.

While Beth has some inherent genius and predilection toward chess, she also reads book upon book about the game. Not content to rest on her laurels, she is continually reading to learn about new moves, the patterns of other players, and possible solutions to dilemmas she may face years down the road. This foundation serves her well when the competition accelerates as the knowledge she gains from books serves as a storehouse of tools to guide her in precarious matches.

Beth was a world-class player on her own merits, but she was also wise enough to know when she needed help from others. She had tutors and competitors who not only played against her but helped her analyze moves in order to advance her skills. Although she did not like it, she learned from feedback and the mistakes she made.

Take a lesson from both fictional Beth Harmon and real-life Warren Buffet and embrace being a life-long learner. Even if you’re near the top of your game, preparation, preparation, preparation is always a winning move in the end.


(The Queen’s Gambit is an intriguing seven-episode limited series on Netflix – highly recommend!)


Thanks, Curt!

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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