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Win Before You Begin

“Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

Interestingly the easiest things that ensure success are the those that are often neglected. It is the nuances and small preparatory actions that  culminate to victory. Sun Tzu understood the impact of preparation, mindset and having your stuff together before executing any initiative.

Below are some basic tips to ensure you are poised to win before you begin:

Check your mindset

Know you will win before you begin. Failure to fully believe that you will win markedly decreases your chances of success. The mind must be trained to believe victory is imminent. Otherwise, the effort and resources at your disposal should be allocated to ventures that you passionately believe will be successful. Moreover, the mindset of those around you must be considered as well. Is your team well provided for? Are they mentally ready to go to battle and do what it takes to ensure success is on the horizon? Will you be able to keep or increase morale through the action you are planning take? The aforementioned questions are essential to assessing whether or not to engage in battle and move forward in pursuit of greatness.

Prepare

Those who are prepared mentally, physically, and through superior assets will trump those who are not. Moreover, due diligence and full understanding of the scope and magnitude of what you are trying to accomplish must be assessed and vetted. Know your entry points, exit points, and in what situation to remain still. Think of all of the scenarios through without bogging down your progress toward resolution and discernment. Lastly, make sure that your people are prepared as well. There is no such thing as over communicating, particularly when big decisions are on the horizon and much is at stake.

Assess your resources

Know before you engage in battle that your resources are sufficient. For example, if you wish to initiate a marketing campaign to gain market share, will you have enough resources to satisfactorily meet demand when business starts heading your way? Further, can your people handle the increased information, logistics and call volume to ensure your gains are sustainable and are you able to meet the expectations of your clients. A holistic understanding of the impact of any plan must be fully thought out to ensure resources are maximized and poised for greater growth.

Understand the environment

Gain situational awareness of what you are about to enter. An understanding of the environment is a must to successfully win the battle. Not knowing where resources can be found and where danger lurks is commonly overlooked in the beginning stages. Further, it is essential to not solely rely on your own analysis. Gather intelligence and insight from others  around you. It is impossible to gain a clear understanding of the landscape from one perspective. Therefore, consult the fool and you will find his wisdom is more valuable than your own.

Ensure your grit factor is fully stocked

Once you decide to engage in battle, be willing to do what it ethically takes to win. This means your grit factor must be greater than your opponent. Also, it means your team members must have a greater grittiness as well. Be willing to stare adversity in the face and make the bold moves that are neither expected or reasonable from the outside looking in. The mental strength required to win the battle is not to be underestimated and the resilience that comes with grit is unparalleled and must be instilled and diligently woven throughout corporate culture.

Concluding thoughts

The mind is the most powerful resource on Earth. We have the ability think, adapt, overcome, and manipulate our environment to accomplish great feats. Before engaging in battle and attempting to win, it is of the utmost importance to discern if what you are attempting to achieve will do the most good for the cause you are pursuing.
-Justin A, Burger, MBA
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