People who know me, should also know I am quite keen on martial arts. I have practiced karate for 10 years and kung-fu for 4 years now. And many principles are quite transposable to business practices.
- Innovate! The unexpected hit is always the hardest to avoid. If you hit someone with your knee or elbow, it is quite unusual, but it is deadly. Very good at short range, and used in few sports. Using it in real-life fight really gives a competitive advantage.
- Deceive! Pretend you surrender. Apologize like you never apologized before. You would shake so much because of fear, you would drop your wallet. If the opponent looks down, it is the best moment to land a straight punch to the nose.
- Have a long term strategy! One hit in the nose is not enough. He could recover and stab you with a knife he has hidden. Chinese emperors would kill a rebel, his wife, his family, and all his wife family to avoid retaliation In this case just make sure he does not retaliate in the minutes to come. Once he is stunned, just give a one two in the face, low kick in the knee, uppercut in the chin and kick in the nuts. Put him on the ground arm-lock him and call the police. (In that case you’re supposed to have been agressed) Business-wise, never ignore a competitor, even in a difficult position.
- Always be armed! If you are being attacked, have weapons ready. I always have keys on myself, and believe me, that hurts. In the corporate world, it could be… have lawyers ready to bite, and counterattack.
- Aim low, or at the weakest points. Well you know where to hit. Eyeballs, throat, nuts, knees… In fact, attack you opponents most profitable market, the segments he needs to survive. He will have to drop the prices and react to your neverending attacks.
- First move advantage! Always try to attack first. Pretend you will not fight, and then try to lead the fight. That’s only if you know that the fight is unavoidable. He who conquers a market first, has a dominant position.
- Choose the right field. Elephant or hippo, who is stronger ? Well in the water, it is the hippo. So you will want to run in a crowded zone to avoid the fight or in a friendly zone to have your friends help you.
- Outnumber! Well that’s obvious. One holds the opponent, and the other beats the crap out of him. (you can also have an extra friend scouting for weapons in the meantime). It would be diversification in different markets with synergies, or just more salespersons for a better market coverage.
- Play with the rules! If the referee does not see it it is not a foul. I try to fall on my opponent with the elbow first, but hidden from the referee. The other guy is out of breath, and I can easily go for an arm-lock. Well I let you imagine how that applies in the corporate world.
So that was my insight today on that topic. I advise you to read Sun Tzu principles of “The art of War”. But that could be another story.