Three words in the opening of the Art of Strategy are very important. First Strategy, second Skill and third Study; Signify that it is not an inborn quality or skill to have but a learned skill that must be studied in order to win over life’s conflicts, in fact, in order to survive.
What is a Strategy?
A strategy is a systematic approach to winning long-term objectives. The English term, strategy, after all, is from ancient Greek, meaning literally, the thinking of a general.
So both terms have very similar foundations because military generals were the first group of managers that had to think long-term about complex competitive situations that were literally matters of life and death.
What Makes Strategy an Art?
Only one thing: the ability to consistently reproduce CREATIVE results. When you or anyone masters the art of strategy system, they are able to more completely understand their situation and make the right decisions.
It doesn’t require any innate inborn skill.
Why is this Strategic Art Necessary?
Because our instinctual reactions to competitive situations are Inappropriate. We have all heard of born salespeople, born buyers, and born bargainers but no one is a born strategist. Our natural “inborn” reaction to competitive challenges is “flight” or “fight,” running away from challenges or getting into costly battles with people and organizations.
Strategy is a skill, something that we have to learn. The strategy has a different approach to competition. It teaches advancing your position in such a way that people cannot attack it and, ideally, over time, people want to join you.
Strategy is not for idealists but pragmatic people. It is based on certain economic realities and teaches us how to use simple mathematics to calculate our possibilities and basic psychology to understand and persuade our opponents.
Strategy is a continual process, not a one-time planning effort. It charts out where you want to go and generally how you want to get there, but it also teaches the skills for taking advantage of opportunities that come your way every day.
The Art of Strategy deals with two main issues:
- What is your position?
- How do you advance that position?
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