Learned

Yielding, like ice about to melt.

Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

I was a lousy chess player (went from C class to Candidate Master over 15-20 years) but very determined. I learned to defend and counterattack. I learned how to exploit small advantages and maneuver in even positions, how to mark time till the opponent made a mistake, how to treasure a draw because it wasn’t a loss. How to spring from inactivity for the throat if the opportunity presented. How to feel bad after but not during. None of this chess technique is of any use in real life, but as attitudes and patience, it’s like Lao Tzu describing crossing the ice, alert to any crackling signalling danger. Careful. Alert. Ready.

The thing to do when you are impatient is turn to your left and ask advice from your death.

I learned as businessman that it’s personal. Defeat and death lurk at every corner, the same as driving down the highway. Every second, the risk of a wrong tug on the steering wheel, and you’re dead. It’s like Castaneda says Don Juan says, death rides at your shoulder. Every action can lead to your death. When you throw yourself into action, it should be wholehearted (like the Spartan phalanx) but in many cases, you manoeuvre and dabble to test the water. I believe with the Chinese that “non action” is often the best action. And you should never do it because someone just says “I dare you.” And you should do it clean. Ambush is fine, but not dishonest. People should be able to count on your word, absolutely.

To live as though he’s already dead, he gains freedom in the Way.

And if you could die, even just figuratively, or if you’re already dead as the Samurai believed, then if they force you, you should really fight to win wholeheartedly-passionately , even if you make it appear you are the reasonable one doing only the necessary against your own will.

But nonviolence is best. You should do everything you can to preserve (and win) the peace with soft power, or just trying to get along. You should do absolutely everything you can (“what would Jesus do?”) to win or coexist the peace and avoid what you absolutely will likely do, if forced to fight. It’s the Chinese meta-strategy to win the peace through soft power.

It’s totally not in Porter, or otherwise in Western business strategy. It’ll be in my new text, 10th edition, though.

I guess I’m a good Strategy prof. Full of this shit. Lots to teach.

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
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