Friday, February 01, 2013

Holding the Wheel

"Nothing is more difficult than the art of maneuvering for advantageous position." - Sun Tzu

I'll try to keep this post as short and as sweet as possible.

Sun Tzu's impact on business is very simple because his tenets about confrontation are very simple.  Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and be honest to yourself in assessing your abilities.  Work hard to get the maximum advantage. Always be confident in your abilities.    Never pick a fight with someone you don't know.   Learn as much as you can about the "playing field" just as much as you are learning about your opponent.  Hone your skills and be as diverse in your methods of attack.  Keep your belligerent intentions secret.  Never allow your opponent to get a sure footing on you, on your abilities and your resources.  When you attack, make it swift, clean and decisive.  Preserve your people and your opponent's as well - someone has to rebuild and replant after the conflict is done.

Gaining an advantage over someone when the field is either known or well traversed is very difficult to do.  In business or in relationships, when all the cards in the deck are relatively well-known, masking your moves is a matter of hiding your emotions, or practicing outright deception.  Manipulation is not uncommon, especially by changing essential facts about oneself or admitting to feelings one doesn't truly have.