The Art of Strategy - Part Five
"Exploit Opportunities and Advance Your Position"
We complete this Art of Strategy machine by adding its moving parts. Let us now move to discuss The Art of Strategy and the Advance cycle.
We complete this Art of Strategy machine by adding its moving parts. These four parts are designed to find and exploit opportunities in the situation and advance your position.
- Information - Listen to uncover new opportunities.
- Focus - Aim on the best possible opportunity.
- Action - Move to take advantage of that opportunity.
- Position - Claim to get the rewarded from that opportunity.
These four steps together form a process we call The Advance Cycle. Each part of the process leads to the next.
Information leads to Focus, which leads to Action, which leads to Positioning, this leads to more Information, and so on.
Without the complete Art of Strategy process, you do not make progress. Information without Focus is just curiosity. Focusing without Action is just dreaming. Action without Positioning is just dancing. An incomplete cycle is like 90 percent of a bridge. It does not get you anywhere.
One of the first skills we learn as children is the ability to listen and gather information. Unfortunately, as we approach our teen years, something happens to our ability to listen.
We suddenly discern the folly of our parents’ generation and realize that adults have nothing more to teach us.
We then replace our minor listening skills with more entertaining talents, such as making smart remarks in response to any statement aimed at educating us. As we grow older, our minds become like mad monkeys the situation become worse and without our conscious control, our thoughts run far ahead of our listening.
Art of Strategy teaches listening to gather information is the first step in the process because we first have to become completely passive to open ourselves to opportunities.
Sun Tzu in the Art of Strategy said, “All strategies are information strategies”.
Information fills in the map of your situation, and Focus studies that Map to discover the best opportunity for changing your position.
Focus targets a specific way to advance your position by filtering the unnecessary activities.
In fact, Vision comes from Focus. Vision is the ability to see a better future where others see only problems.
The first purpose of Focus is to determine whether you should defend or attack.
If Focus is like picking the destination on the Map, then:
Action is like driving out to that destination. Every action is unique, and getting from one position to another requires judgment. You have to pick the right path to get to your destination safely. None of the other drivers on the highway of life is trained. They are just an accident waiting to happen.
No one is broadcasting strategic traffic reports for you on the radio. No one is telling you when the roads are closed. No one is working the traffic lights. You must proceed at your own risk.
Success means making your advance pay off. This requires the final step of claiming your new position. The world is unfair, and unless you make the claim.
Position: Every time you advance your position, you change your position. That new position is the basis for a new cycle of advance.
On the largest scale, your life should be one big Advance Cycle.
In childhood, you should focus on collecting information. As a teen, you should start developing some focus. As an adult, you should start to take action. By middle age, you should know how to position yourself.
This is the Art of Strategy to advance your position.
The Art of Strategy (Navigation)
The Art of Strategy - Introduction
Introduction and main page.
The Art of Strategy - Part One
Perspective on the writing of Sun Tzu's Treaty.
The Art of Strategy - Part Two
Three words in the opening of the Art of Strategy are very important.
The Art of Strategy - Part Three
Two main issues that the Art of Strategy deals with..
The Art of Strategy - Part Four
The Art of Strategy Positioning and Advance.
The Art of Strategy - Part Five You Are Here!
The Art of Strategy The advance Cycle