The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

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“There are those that who outwardly play the team game, who act very friendly and agreeable, but whop sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to promote their own agenda.

Others, more difficult to spot, play subtle games of passive aggression, offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a secret weapon. On the surface, everything seems peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and woman for him – or herself, this dynamic infecting even families and relationships.”

“This knowledge is not about hoe to be more forceful in getting what we ant or defending ourselves, but rather practical knowledge on how to deal with conflict and the daily battles we face.”

“Think about yourself as always about to go into battle. Everything depends on your frame of mind and how you look to the world. A shift in perspective can transform you from a passive and confused mercenary into a motivated and creative fighter.”

“The more clearly you recognise who you don’t want to be, then, the clearer your sense of identity and purpose will be.”

“Do not crowd the centre, where everyone else is; there’s no room to fight in a crowd. Polarise people, drive some of them away, and create space for battle.”

“Getting along with other people is an important skill to have, but it comes with danger: by always seeking the path of least resistance, the path of conciliation, you forget who you are and sink into the centre with everyone else.”

“Attention to details of the present is by far the best way to crowd out the past and forget the last war.”

“Unless you adapt your leadership style to the weaknesses of those in your group, you will almost certainly end up with a break in the chain of command.”

“The essence of strategy is not to carry out a brilliant plan that proceeds in steps, it is to put yourself in situations where you have more options than the enemy does.”

“Coddling your soldiers and acting as if everyone were equal will ruin discipline and promote the creation of factions. Victory will forge stronger bonds than superficial friendliness and victory comes from discipline, training and ruthlessly high standards.”

“The way to get soldiers to work together and maintain morale is to make them feel part of a group that is fighting for a worthy cause. That distracts them from their human need to feel part of something bigger than they are. They soon begin to link their success to the group’s.”

“Abundance makes us rich in dreams, for in dreams there are no limits. But it makes us poor in reality. It makes us sift and decadent, bred with what we have and in need of constant shocks to remind us that we are alive.”

“Armies that seem to have the edge in money, resources and firepower tend to be predictable. Relying on their equipment instead of on knowledge and strategy, they grow mentally lazy.”

“There is great value in letting people know that when necessary you can let go of your niceness and be downright difficult and nasty.”

“Being political means understanding people – seeing through their eyes.”

“Your real enemy is your opponents mind. His armies, his resources, his intelligence, can all be overcome if you can fathom his weakness, the emotional blind-spot through which you can deceive, distract and manipulate him.”

“Now more than ever, we find ourselves dealing with people who are defensive and cautious, who begin any action from a static position. The reason is simple: the pace of modern life is increasingly growing faster, full of distractions, annoyances and interruptions.”

“In any interaction, you must train yourself to focus on their strength, the source of power, whatever it is that gives them their most crucial support. That knowledge will afford you many strategic options, many angles from which to attack, subtly or not so subtly undermining their strength rather than hitting it head on.”

“Rational arguments go in one ear and out the other. No one is changed; you are preaching to the converted. In the war to win people’s attention and influence them, you must first separate them from whatever ties them to the past and makes them resist change.”

“The solution is to have a clear idea of what you want, then put yourself in open space and give yourself options to play with.”

 

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Take time and be grateful 

Take time to be with family.

Take time to savour your food.

Take time to appreciate gifts you’ve been given.

Take time to be alone. 

Take time to be outside.

Take time to celebrate your victories over the last year.

Take time to do nothing.

Take time to enjoy the moment.

Take time to plan next year.

Thank those you love for wanting the best for you.

Thank those cooking for their special gift.

Thank your haters for keeping you on top of your game.

Thank your teachers for sharing their knowledge.

Thank your students for being present. 

Thank yourself for everything you are and will become. 

It’s easy to hate digital

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

We are in the middle of a wave of digital hate.

The Adcontrarian rightly shouts about the bullshit that is too often peddled.

P&G are questioning the complex nature of digital, making a lot of platforms (who sell complexity as a KPI) squirm in their chairs.

The companies that are taking over 50% of digital ad spend and 75% of new digital ad spend are marking their own homework.

But all of these can be seen as what makes it good.

The eye is the first thing we look for on a person because the contrast of white vs colour vs black is more blatant that anywhere else on the body.

The scum and bad practises are exactly what we need to shine.

It’s easier to stand out in a room full of dull.

It’s exactly what we must be doing.

The problem is, it’s hard.

It’s hard to think macro.

It’s hard to be a generalist.

It’s hard to focus on quality, rather than quality.

It’s harder to simplify.

It’s harder to prove business results of platform vanity metrics.

The quicker we take the power of digital out of the hands out of platforms and specialists, the quicker we’ll have a wholesome, influential channel.

Otherwise we’ll turn the Internet into DM, where quantity is cheap and effective for short term ROI.

And DM never built a brand.

Explaining what you haven’t done

As you get older and wiser, you get judged on your decisions.

You are no longer purely reactive, as you were when you were young.

Decision making is a zero-sum game; it is as important what you didn’t do as what you did.

However, people are not interested enough in you to understand the full landscape of your decisions and so will only see your decisions. 

Your task must therefore is to make it obvious what you didn’t do, as much as what you did.

Journelling

As soon as you wake up, take a 2 pages of A4, start with a question and write your answer.

The only rule is that your pen isn’t allowed to leave the paper until you are done filling both sides of the paper. 

About a third of the way through your concious brain will run out of things to say and your subconscious will take over.

This is an incredibly effective way of getting over the barriers we tell ourselves and getting to what we believe deep down.

This gives you clarity of thought, awareness of your beliefs vs constructs, time + space for editing and best of all, a real meditative mindfulness.

Have a nice weekend.

Deep work 

“People overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in 10.”

Tony Robbins

Reactive work is emails, day to day, surface work.

Anyone can do it and it’s a trap. 

Deep work is the longer term projects that are harder to quantify the success of in the short term however make big differences to more people in the long term.

Businesses and culture are built on deep work- how do you contribute to that?