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THE ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu is an effective summary of the productive military strategies accredited to this Chinese general and tactician. (This is not a book review so please stay with me as we get to the purpose of this article.) Prominent business schools and leaders often refer to this text because business is likened to war, therefore, military strategies must be applied to overcome your enemy. The emphasis is on conquering your opponent and /or eliminating the competition to improve your market share.
These notions are understandable because a business is primarily run to make a financial profit. However ethical your product, however clear your social responsibility, however noble your goals: it eventually comes down to the practical bottom line i.e. making some money. Being aware of the competition is necessary alongside knowledge of the market and creating new trends via research & development. All of these practical considerations contribute to maintaining a viable business model.
There is also room for something else: a paradigm shift and a new narrative.
A fundamental shift in the approach to your business means you will always bring something unique to your industry. How? By constantly assessing your effectiveness. The notion of working hard is highly overrated and often presented as the de facto justification for a lack of results. Imagine this scenario: a group of 5 people aims to move bench 1 mile in 1 hour. 2 hours have elapsed with no movement on the bench. They pushed and worked hard but no result. Could they have hired a crane, truck or other devices to move it? This simple example is not to insult your intelligence or exaggerate the point. It’s to bring home how beneficial it is to be effective and strategic in getting the results you intend. Sun Tzu’s ideas are still relevant in business because they evolved from his willingness to review the effectiveness of his manoeuvers. There is more value in working smart than in working hard. Breaking the cycle of simply working hard may involve things like:
- Delegating jobs to competent people in your circle/business. If you are a very small business owner then reach out to someone with the expertise you seek – it may be the beginning of productive future joint ventures.
- Keep abreast of developments in your industry via specialist websites, member’s only groups, and news updates, etc.
- Attend useful events. It’s not simply whom you know but who knows you plus where they see you on social media.
- Periodically review your progress and implement checks & balances to measure your progress.
The art of business war is the art of effectiveness. Clients and service users take you more seriously when you under promise then over deliver because they know you have integrity and adhere to your core values. There is a global market awaiting your product, ready to receive your talent and willing to offer monetary appreciation in abundance. People love doing business with those they trust, believe in or know of and this is why effective advertising works. After all, you are the best advert for your brand in every way imaginable!
About the Author
Malik Muhammad was raised and educated in Jamaica, read law in London and is the conceptualiser of The Empowerment Mastery System. This system is based on The 8 Principles of Self Empowerment that are guaranteed to improve your quality of life, elevate your wellbeing and help you / your organisation or your business to make measurable progress.
Malik enjoys vegan cooking, quad biking, jazz, and yoga. He is an after-dinner speaker, workshop facilitator and convenes international & corporate inspirational seminars. Malik specialises in sharing self-empowerment techniques with diverse audiences.
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