In terms of tactics, Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings is one of our associates favorite books. Some of the explained tactics in this book are great for close quarter conflict especially from the field. ... It is perfect for those who have operated in various chaotic situations.
We noticed that some of the devotees of The Five Rings essay, are usually superb tacticians with a minimum regard for long term thinking. Because of the commitment to their cause and their tendency to "will themselves to win", they frequently live for the moment of the action. ...
The Dao of the Strategic Adviser
During the Tokugawa dynasty, Yagyu Munenori was considered to be the technical equal of Miyamoto Musashi. While being great swordsmen and forerunners of their school of sword play, they have never fought against each other.
Yagyu Munenori became the advisor to the Shogun while Musashi was just a ronin- a samurai with no tangible employer. He finally secured tangible employment with Lord Hosokawa Tadatoshi at the age of 46.
History has shown that the achievers with extraordinary field-level skill typically get the limited fortune and finite glory. The grander honor usually goes to those few people who could convince others to act. Some experienced field expediters might find that viewpoint to be insulting. ... After a few moments of deep contemplation about how our global society operate, they would then realized that it is the consummate truth. ...
Other Notes on the Strategic Advisor
In terms of Chinese military history, some of our favorite strategic advisers are: Jiang Tai Gong, Sun Bin, Zhuge Liang, Zhang Liang and Li Jing.
The origin of their grand achievements begins from the convincing of people to commit to the proposed mission.
Within the grand scheme of our complex setting, the smart backroom strategic advisers and the field operators who could motivate the masses, are always relevant to those who are in power.
To thrive in our clan-driven society, the strategic adviser must contemplate on the following points:
- the importance of joining the right clan;
- the possibility of joining the right clan;
- the risk benefits of being a member of that clan;
- the risk challenges of being a member of that clan; and
- the risk drawbacks of being a member of that clan.
Comments From The Compass Desk
In the information economy, a professional is usually viewed as a specialist or a jack of all trades.
To advise people, one must have more than the knowledge of a specific domain. Recognizing the motive and the method of the targeted person or group of people requires a certain mindset of patience and control. ... The first step is the mastering of the art of centering oneself. This act enables one to practice the art and the science of listening.
/* note: Sometime in the future, we will post our view on why the advice of the over-hyped self help gurus does not always work. */
For those who are interested in the strategic consulting business, we highly recommended the reading of "Jiang Tai Gong's Six Secret Teachings" and "The Conversations Between the Tang's Emperor and Li Jing." (You can find those essays in the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China.) ... Study the approach of how the writer (the chief strategists) suggested their perspectives to their employers. ... Always remember that the message is the medium.
To competitively climb the food chain of the information economy, the western mind have always believed that "the pen is mightier than the sword. ... " There are some amateur desktop strategic advisers who regularly implement "the pen is mightier than the sword" concept in all of their strategic situations, without ever understanding the possible chaotic state that lies in the field level. They also do not possess any understanding of the negative after-effect if or when their plan does or does not work.
History has repeatedly shown that the practice of the pen is quite applicable in convincing the masses of people to join a specific cause. But the practice of the sword works quite well in those special close quarters situations that are occasionally laced with a singular flavor of chaos.
In our virtual operations room, some of our group preferred to follow the following Japanese Bushido saying- "the pen and sword in accord." Conceptually, it is similar to the Chinese concept of Wen Wu. (We will elucidate more on this concept in a later post.)
With the pen, one could always brainstorm and script their scheme of plays through the process of visual, audio and tactile means before ever implementing the intent.
As mentioned in previous posts, we have always consistently practiced the principle of assessing any strategic situation before ever deciding on the objective and the approach (the pen or the sword). ... While it prevents us from operating from the seat of our pants, this pragmatic practice focuses us to complete our objective with emotional detachment. ... Could you calmly do that in a Silicon Valley minute?
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