The Most Crucial Leadership Skill That Few Possess
Why is pattern recognition so crucial for leaders?
Pattern recognition is a crucial leadership skill that enables leaders to make sense of their surroundings, anticipate potential outcomes, and make strategic business decisions in seemingly unfamiliar and unique circumstances. Those of you who read my content know that I’m an avid chess player and in chess, recognizing patterns is one of the pillars of the game.
Even if you don’t know how to play chess, take a look at the following three positions.
They all look completely different right? But the pattern in all three of these positions is exact same an they all lead to a forced checkmate known as “Anastasia’s Mate.”
In the first example (brown), black wins by force by playing Queen h5 with check, the white pawn on g4 is forced to capture the queen, and then black plays Rook h4 checkmate.
In the second example (green), black plays Knight to e7 with check, the King then goes over to either h1 or h2, then black plays Rook to h7 with check, the white pawn on g6 has to capture the rook and then black’s other rook slides across the board to h6 delivering checkmate.
In the third example (blue), white plays Knight e7, black then has to slide the king over to h8, white captures the pawn with the queen on h7 with check and forcing black to capture the queen with the king, then white plays Rook h1 with mate.
Even though all three of these positions look different they all have the exact same pattern with a forced mate.
When it comes to leadership being able to spot patterns is just as crucial. Consider the following scenarios.
Taking over a new team that you have never worked with and you are looking to increase performance and engagement.
Trying to decide on the best course of action when dealing with a pandemic even though you have never experienced one before.
Making a strategic business decision in an environment you are not familiar with.
Investing in your own learning and growth and are trying to decide on the best things to focus on.
Looking to create a new line of business with either a product or service and notice a trend in the AI space. You want to take next steps to launch something.
Trying to mitigate risks and downside for a current business crisis you are dealing with.
The list of examples is endless and in all of the above scenarios pattern recognition is crucial, let’s see how.