Have the competition beaten before you start

The picture you see is of 5th Century BC Chinese warlord, Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu is famous for not only his achievements as a warrior leader, but also for his principles of waging and winning wars.

His principles have been translated into many spheres of life including business and sport.

I regularly quoted his mantras to the teams I coached. However, one of my favourite quotes is this slide –

This principle in my opinion clearly relates to beating your opposition, whether it be sport, business, x-Box, or whatever the game is.

My aim with the teams I coached was to have us so well prepared for the match, the series, the tournament that we were about to play, that we had our opposition already in awe before we actually walked onto the field to compete.

To chase the vision of Everest, of being labelled something akin to ‘The Invincibles’, then we needed to better skilled technically, physically and mentally than our competitors.

In terms of our tactical approach, I wanted to be able to play a game that no other teams could play, or at least could match.

In everything we were doing, I wanted to be the GAME CHANGER – to give ourselves best chance of not only winning, but dominating our opposition.

I wanted to have the game (the war) won before it started!

However, as Sun TZU understood, that having such an approach, a vision was very important, victory could never be guaranteed.

It was also important to have other elements or pillars to give your team, your army best chance of winning.

I outline these as –
1. Vision & key strategies
2. Leadership culture
3. Learning environment
4. Talent
5. Success measures

To dominate the market place, a business or team needs to be guided by a vision that chooses this destination – to play a game that no one else in the market can match.