Friday, February 01, 2013
Holding the Wheel
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.
That is the crux of managing relationships - it hinges on one's own very nature. Is it a matter of getting what you want going ahead, or gaining or what is true to you? Is it blotting out what you feel are your imperfections by replacing them with "happy" emotions or pretending all grown up and not being affected by letdowns?
For some, delaying gratification is an important part of the process. For others, it's squeezing every drop of sensation for each day, for there might be no tomorrow. Some rush in with little or no heed about the consequences, others are so protective of their own space they avoid living and instead isolate and live vicariously by observing others.
Is it really important to control and hold the wheel in the relationship?
I can't pretend to be the expert on this one. So I will leave that hanging.