Children who play chess have moves mapped out to the boardroom, says Lord Price
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.
So passionate is Lord Price about the importance of chess, he has written a children’s book named The Foolish King, which is a fairy tale about how the game came about.
“It all started when I taught my eldest daughter - who is now 22-years-old - how to play chess when she was six,” he said.
“I made up a story to help her understand how all the pieces move.”
He said that while there are plenty of online chess offerings, they are largely geared towards adults or professional placers, so he developed an app for children.
“I couldn’t find anything that was fun for children and talked their language,” he said.
“I wanted children to play chess in a fun way.
“When you win banners go up and there are cheers from the crowd. There is a green splodge on the screen which explodes when you get taken.”
Lord Price has written a sequel to The Foolish King which is due to be published next year. Last April, he was appointed a minister of state for trade and investment, with a brief to promote British trade and industry around the globe, and to attract investment.
At first he split his time between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
He later joined the Department for International Trade, which was set up by Prime Minister Theresa May shortly after she took office in July last year to negotiate trade agreements between the UK and non-EU states which would come into force after Brexit.
Earlier this month, Lord Price stepped down from his ministerial post to concentrate on his business interests and writing projects.
Source: The Telegraph