The Queen’s Gambit is the latest binge-worthy offering on Netflix. This sparkling new series offers us a tortured genius who overcomes an addictive personality. In the end, she secures her rightful place at the top of a male-dominated profession. It’s also a message about what qualities to seek in a coach.

The seven-part series follows the story of Beth Harmon orphaned in the 1950s. Her grim existence at The Methuen Orphanage for Girls is disrupted when the custodian uncovers Beth’s talent for chess. Beth fosters her genius for the game with tranquilizers, dutifully handed out by the institution’s Chief Orderly. Adopted by an alcoholic woman, her talent is gradually embraced. Soon Beth finds herself traveling the world and rising in the ranks of the chess world.

Beth Harmon tries to manage her meteoric rise, but after her adoptive-mother dies, Beth begins her downward spiral. Unfortunately for her, she spurns the help…

Photo by Sander Dalhuisen on Unsplash

We’ve all done it. I know I have, and I can’t be alone in this. So, I’m willing to bet you’ve done it too.

You’ve given at least one of your direct reports the feedback sandwich.

You’ve started off with something positive to get your employee on board. Then you’ve slipped in something that they’ve screwed up or that you want them to improve on. Then you’ve given them some good news, finishing on a high note, so that everyone walks away with a positive feeling.

But is that kind of feel-good camaraderie the impression you want to leave your employee with? If you’ve decided their behaviour is so sub-par that it warrants a private feedback session, don’t you need to be more direct?

Everyone wants their people back as quickly as possible. But NASA learned the hard way; the most dangerous part of its missions is not the launch. It’s re-entry.

Image courtesy NASA

The successful SpaceX launch of the first commercially-produced space vehicle and its subsequent docking with the International Space Station made history. But, like your business, the most dangerous part of its mission is still ahead.

If you’re like 90% of businesses, you launched into remote work abruptly, with little preparation. It wasn’t easy and the sudden journey was full of risks. But you moved quickly to provide your people with the technology and tools they needed and you (hopefully) made it.

Like a space flight, you found orbiting was just as dangerous. Remote work was fraught with debris, like isolation…

What does business forecasting have in common with birds, cowboys, cars and the Russian army?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

And it all hinges on what you see in this picture.

photo by Galawebdesign

What did you notice? A bunch of twigs? A nest? The hint of a feather? Some eggs? Maybe you notice one of those eggs stands out. It’s superficially similar because it’s egg-shaped and it’s in a nest. But it’s a different colour and it’s much larger.

That’s a cuckoo’s egg lying amongst the eggs of a different species. The cuckoo is a “brood parasite”. They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. The delinquent parents go merrily on their way. …

Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

The biggest challenge leaders face in a crisis isn’t risk. It’s uncertainty. And the biggest mistake Leaders make when dealing with it? Trying to simplify complexity and chaos to make it seem less frightening and more manageable.

In the few weeks since populations were asked to isolate and work from home, entire industries have shut down and innumerable small businesses have collapsed. Employees are turning to their Leaders for answers and assurances. …

Ken Cameron

Ken uses corporate culture to transform high performance teams and remote work. More at and

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