Begin With the Endgame

Over the past 10 years, Chris Cook has spent his career in the construction industry. He has a Bachelor's of Science in Industrial Technology Management with an emphasis in Building Construction Management and Master's of Science in Project Management. He is an accredited PMP. Follow more of Chris's insights at his blog EntrePMeur.

Chess champion, author and martial artist Josh Waitzkin uses a method of learning he calls “beginning with the endgame.” In this example, Waitzin is teaching a person how to play chess. Normally, an individual will learn a few opening sequences that any novice player will know.

His approach revolves around the endgame. He places a few pieces on the board to emphasize empty space, opposition and setting your opponent up for a fatal move. This micro approach (only a few pieces on the board) helps his student learn the macro (the game of chess).

These high-level concepts teach any player for any circumstance. Because you understand the goal (checkmate), you can now reverse-engineer the problem to produce the outcome.

Brazilian jiu jitsu world champion Marcelo Garcia says if you are studying his game, you are entering his game—and he will be better at it than you are. His “secrets” are public. Why? He is luring his competition into his game. He knows if he gets into these positions against you, even though you studied them extensively, he is better at them than you are.

Garcia’s endgame is the “Marcelotine,” a type of choke he has perfected. His opponents know this, yet the move remains effective. By studying his game and thinking they have the defense to subdue his attacks, they are playing into his strategy.

How do …

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