A friend of mine once said to me: “Ziad … if we lived in ancient Rome, I would imagine you as being the perfect and a gladiator… Amazing how much of a warrior you are. The gladiator of finance today.”
I never thought about it this way but it cannot be further from the truth. I am indeed a warrior. In fact, I realize more than ever today that we are most successful when we fight for our survival, much as a start-up has to fight for its place in the market. We stub our toes when we become too comfortable or confident.
Analogies between warfare and business are always imperfect, of course, but I do believe that the principles of guerrilla warfare in particular are useful to managers who find themselves in a constantly changing environment. Just think about the effectiveness of guerrilla tactics. Guerrilla fighters, though outnumbered and poorly equipped, can inflict serious casualties on enemy troops. In situations in which political loyalties are uncertain or changing quickly, highly motivated guerrillas can force political compromises or even win battles.
In my view, executives who view the marketplace as a quick-changing battlefield can use similar tactics, what I call guerrilla management, to achieve remarkable success.
For More: Using Guerilla Warfare To Win
I always believed that “Business is War”. In fact, this is one of our key mantras in here at Blackhawk Partners. Yet I see so many businesses out there who are so shallow in the way they operate that it doesn’t really surprise me anymore how much waste and lost resources are being plundered for the sake of growth.
Look at our military and be the judge.
It is a fact that the United States military today has to work, obviously, one of the most difficult jobs in the world. They have worldwide responsibility over trillions of dollars worth of equipment and oversee what amounts to the world’s largest logistical support network. Every one of them is a master in their specified field by year two and are responsible for some of the most advanced technological systems on the planet. And management? By the time many are twenty three years of age they have already been promoted to a leadership role, responsible for a team of trade veterans. Also, their average age is 20. And you know what? Almost none of them are degreed.
For More: Business v/s Military Models – Who wins?
I am afraid our military intervention in Syria is too little too late….but better late than never.
We did not intervene when the rebels were strongest, the Assad regime most fragile, and limited U.S. support to the then dominant moderate rebel factions might well have pushed Assad out of power without dividing Syria along sectarian and ethnic lines.
We clearly allowed Iran to move in and al Qaeda to penetrate. Assad is now far stronger and the rebels are fractured and have stronger Sunni Islamist extremist elements than ever.
We have also chosen the wrong red line. The key challenge in Syria is scarcely to end the use of chemical weapons. The real challenge is some 120,000 dead, another 200,000-plus wounded, and as many as 20% of its 22.5 million people have been displaced inside the country or are living outside it as refugees.
For More: Why Regime Change in Syria is the Only Option
The public reaction to both the brazen killings of two New York City policemen sitting on duty in their patrol car by a gunman asserting revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner blamed on police, and the original Brown and Garner deaths, is revealing a sharp class divide in Western information society.
The dividing line is not what you might suspect.
The street protests, sometimes as violent as any seen in the United States since the urban looting during the three-day Great Blackout of 1977, may be using the cited reason of alleged police brutality as a pretext. Careful observation indicates the protests are physical group exercises (sans yoga mats), expressions of rage, very much in search of a cause. The undercurrent behind the scenes, the back-chatter, reveals something else.
The new class consciousness has a fault line. But we theorize it is not socioeconomic. It is not class. There is something else at work here.
For More: What The Street Protests Really Mean For Business
I believe the Founding Fathers would surely be proud of the vastness and strength of the United States, but they would be strongly disappointed with how we’ve come to interpret the Constitution.
Furthermore, they would be even more disappointed with the fact we have created a central bank that artificially foments growth and debases our currency through fraudulent monetary policy.
The Framers warned about our country and capitalist structure suffering from a central bank that purposefully imbalances the market in order to create phony credit and fake booms in the business cycle.
The size and scope of the federal government, the incredible power of the Federal Reserve, and our empire overseas all would be considered perversions of the U.S. Constitution.
For More: What Would Our Founding Fathers Think if They were Alive Today?
I don’t care what you’re doing in your life but you’re walking around with a safety net underneath it. Most everyone is. The safety net keeps you from pushing your limits, your comfort, your ability to see consequences.
Don’t be stupid and live like you’re going to die tomorrow. Go to work. Love your family. Be good and do good to others. But don’t spend a lot of time on backup plans or “recovery mechanisms”.
I am finding out that there is nothing more perverse than to speak the truth.
Far too many people do not understand how profound the real honest truth really is, so they make up stories, lies, and other fictions to cover their perceived lack of interesting thoughts and events.
I read once that dumb people talk about people, average people talk about events, smart people talk about concepts and ideas. Geniuses talk about “meaning”.
For More: Living a Full Life
“Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.”
John D. Rockefeller, Founder, Standard Oil Corp.
“If you know exactly how much money you have…then you don’t have enough.”
Carlos Slim, World’s wealthiest person (2007, 2010-2013).
“It is far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
Warren Buffett, Chairman & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
“If you do something, and it turns out pretty good, You should go out and do something else wonderful. Don’t dwell on it for too long, just figure out what’s next”
Steve Jobs, Co-Founder Apple, Inc.
“How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.”
Bill Gates, Founder & Chairman Microsoft, Inc.
For More: 10 Business Quotes