September 25, 2007

I Can Control Myself; I Canít Control the Other Guy

A lot of people confuse power with control. Power is the product of my work over time; control is my ability to direct particular thoughts and actions. One of the best lessons Iíve learned over 20 plus years as a martial artist is this: I can develop my own power, I can develop self-control; what the other guy does is usually up to him!

In fact, to physically control an opponent, itís necessary to understand how to use that opponent's intentions and force against him. With expert timing, you can take a forceful attack and re-direct the force toward a lock, a throw or for greater impact in a strike. Still, itís very difficult to compel the enemy to a specific angle or moment of attack; those factors are largely up to him.

So, what can I do?

Just like the Boy Scouts have always said: ďBe Prepared!Ē

I can always control what Iím doing to prepare myself to face coming challenges and adversities. I can always control when Iím going to prepare; and that time is always now. In business, we should always be engaged in constant preparation, learning and development. Times may be good now, but every business person knows that hard times can come at any time. The time to make ready for the tough times is right now.

You canít control what the competition is doing, but you can schedule time and assign resources to fortify a strong position and prepare for contingencies. The best time to do this is not when the proverbial &*$% is hitting the fan, but when youíre operating from a position of relative peace and security.

"So the principles of warfare are: Do not depend on the enemy not coming, but depend on our readiness against him. Do not depend on the enemy not attacking, but depend on our position that cannot be attacked." Sun Tzu from ďThe Art of WarĒ

It is difficult to predict market changes and competition strategies with complete accuracy. We must be constantly engaged in the process of developing our resources and our power to be in the best position to respond when the situation calls us to action.

Thanks to SonShi.com for permission to use translations from ďThe Art of War.Ē I highly recommend their complete course in the application of Sun Tzuís philosophy translated for business strategy. Youíll receive a daily translation in bite-size pieces, just like the one above, with commentary. Go to www.SonShi.com for details.

Posted by Jim Bouchard at 08:36 AM

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