How to Become the Chief Executive
Part One - The Strategy
Becoming the chief executive of any company anywhere in the world, is a great “earthly” success in life by any standard. Such a position, gives financial security and society recognition.
Unless one has inherited a company, reaching such a position will almost certainly require a strategy.
Among the strategic thinkers and “achievements” gurus of past and present, none other than Sun Tzu in his Art of War, prescribed a “humane” and powerful method to achieve such a goal.
It has taken me twenty years trying most of the methods available today to succeed in life; I attended every motivational presentation I could find, seminars, books and meditation, without notable achievements - until I discovered Sun Tzu the Art of War strategy and my life was not the same again.
When I learned and understood this powerful strategic system, I progressed gradually and within a short period from a small manager position in a small organisation; threatened every year with redundancy and living on a knife-edge, to become Chief Procurement Officer in a British FTSE 25 organisation.
I consequently accumulated enough financial security in this period to decide at the age of 52 to stop, leave, and work for myself.
In part one of this six parts articles, I will describe Sun Tzu strategic system overall. The remaining six parts will deal with each element of the “machinery” of success in order to achieve the goal of becoming a chief executive.
Two basic Issues encapsulate Sun Tzu Strategic System as he defines them in the Art of War.
What is position? And how is it advanced?
Sun Tzu’s Strategy is based on the idea that you, your undertaking and your issues have a unique place in the world. All your opportunities flow from that strategic position.
That position could be personal, or a major undertaking such as a negotiation or a conflict with other organization not to forget becoming a chief executive.
The fact of the matter is, once you establishes such a goal of becoming a chief executive of your organisation, you are in some kind of a war, metaphorically speaking I guess.
The art of strategy teaches that there are five key aspects to your position:
- The mission is the higher purpose or goal that you share with other people.
- The Climate is the trends that change your situation from moment to moment.
- The Ground is where the contest for such a position takes place. The ground provides the prize you seek to win. It defines the game you are playing, and each game with its own unique rules.
- The Leadership is the unique quality of character and leadership that you bring your Situation. Leadership is also the realm of decision-making and personality.
- The Method describes the skills that you master to work with other people. They are the realm of methods and techniques. By definition, strategy is itself a system.
Sun Tzu Strategic system starts with the idea of position, and goes onto make this idea easy to advance in every aspect of life.
The framework of a strategic position is framework for a machine. You might say that this machine manufactures luck. We complete this machine by adding its moving parts. These four parts are designed to advance the position and to find and exploit opportunities:
- Information to uncover new opportunities
- Focus to aim on the best possible opportunity
- Action to take advantage of that opportunity
- Position to get the rewarded and begin a new advance
These four skills provide the heart of Sun Tzu’s methods, strategies & Tactics and he spends about 70% of this treaty discussion them.
Sun Tzu start by saying:
“Therefore, before any challenge
Calculate a plan with five working fundamentals,
And examine the condition of each.
The first is Mission
The second is Climate
The third is Ground
The forth is Leadership
The fifth is Method
Leaders should not be unfamiliar with these Five.
Those who understand them will triumph.
Those who do not understand them will be defeated."
The next five parts of this series of articles will focus on each element of this strategic system specifically formulated to reach the goal we sat before us - Becoming the Chief Executive of your organisation.
How to become the Chief Executive!
How to Become the Chief Executive - Part One - The System
How to Become the Chief Executive - Part two - The Mission
How to Become the Chief Executive - Part Three - The Leadership
How to Become the Chief Executive - Part Three - The Ground
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