Monday, June 13, 2011

Assessing the Basics of Strategic Leadership

Unlike some other strategy forums, we have avoided the practice of treating the Art of War like a book of fortune cookie sayings. Not only does it demeans the essence of that book, it gives the new reader a narrow view of what strategy is about.

One key to assessing a specific situation is to study the quality leadership behind each competitor and then connecting the situation to a set of principles.

Someone sent us this news item and asked us to offer our assessment.

We viewed the situation where the vision of the leadership contradicted with the intent of the staff.

“In competition, two of the six types of organizational errors are chaotic and setback. This disaster is not caused by nature and the marketplace but by the leader's errors. ... If the leader is weak and not disciplined, unclear in his instructions and leadership; the implementers and the expediters lack discipline; and their deployment of expediters into formation is in disarray, it is termed chaotic. ... If the leader, unable to estimate the prowess of the opposition, would make a poor strategic match up decisions, it is termed setback. ... if you know the competition and know yourself, your victory will not be jeopardy. If you know the nature of your terrain and know the configuration of your terrain, your victory can be complete.- AoW 10

Mr. Newt Gingrich misunderstood the strategic power of his competitors and the relationship with his team. He should have focused his attention on securing more political and economic capital for his team, not going on vacation with his wife. Since there are more than five candidates, the competition for the pie of GOP donors was going to be fierce. Without this capital, his campaign was grinding. In a high-risk, high reward competitive situation, a right-minded group of professionals wanted to work for a campaign that had a winning chance.

Side note: What is the probability and the possibility of his former team is now heading to the Lone Star State?

Retrospectively, Mr. Gingrich did not show the discipline to make the right strategic move. The consequence is that his credibility for making the right move has been temporarily destroyed. ...
However, Newt can always fix his image by following the legend of Wuzi. Whether he is able to do something like that, is a different story. ... You can make up your own conclusion on this matter.

We wished much success to Mr. Gingrich in his next professional move.
Compass Rule: Always assess the Big Tangible Picture before deciding on the next move.

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