Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Today's deep thoughts: Know the enemy and know yourself.

From the "Attack by Stratagem" chapter of The Art of War by Sun Tzu:

17. . . . There are five essentials for victory:

  1. He will win who know when to fight and when not to fight.
  2. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
  3. He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
  4. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
  5. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

Victory lies in the knowledge of these five points.

18. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hello, readers!

I hope you're enjoying the posts. I am always surprised when people actually visit my blog. So, if you have any suggestions, or you'd just like to say hello, please let me know in the comments.

Thank you!


Today's deep thoughts: Three guys walk into a bar.

From the "Real Persuasion" chapter of Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom by my former professor Steve Martin.

Persuasion is not solely the recital of logical arguments or factual information to a listener. Instead, it is the process of projecting your entire set of beliefs and convictions onto another human being. It's not about getting others to acknowledge your arguments or agree with your business case; it's about making them internalize your message because they believe that's the only way to make real change happen.

[ . . . ]

Anyone can recite facts, and two people can say the exact same words with entirely different results. Mastering the soft skills--understanding how to build rapport with skeptics, how people process and interpret information, and how to dovetail your ideas into a person's personal desires--is what ultimately makes someone influential.

To demonstrate these soft skills, we will use three linguistic role models: Ronald Reagan, Jesus Christ, and Buddha. We'll examine how they used language and communicated their ideas . . .

  • They spoke to each person individually.
  • They spoke with compassion.
  • They spoke with congruence.
  • They connected with the senses when they spoke.
  • They told stories to illustrate their ideas.

Who did you persuade today?