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29 Lessons From The Greatest Strategic Minds Who Ever Lived, Fought, Or Led

https://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2016/08/29-lessons-from-the-greatest-strategic-minds-who-ever-lived-fought-or-lead/

thoughtcatalog.com

29 Lessons From The Greatest Strategic Minds Who Ever Lived, Fought, Or Led
Whether you're starting a business, writing a book, playing a sport, or negotiating a salary increase with your boss, a strategy is essential. Without one, what exactly are you doing? Most people are not strategic. They are reactive. A critic of the inventor John DeLorean described the leadership style which sunk that company as "chasing colored balloons."

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Tactical Hell

Tactical Hell

It is a place where we are perpetually reactive to other people’s demands and needs, driven by emotional instead of logical impulses.

We need to escape it and see things objectively and with detachment, from a distance.

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The Art of Negative Visualization

The Art of Negative Visualization

This is a stoic lesson, to visualize failure in advance.

It helps because if you imagine failure you start seeing all the ways that have led to that result. And you can start actively working on addressing and mitigating them in advance.

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The ‘Draw-Down Period’

The ‘Draw-Down Period’

Before he would jump into an idea and go full steam, take a reflective period to step back ask yourself: "What do I really have here? Do I actually have something? What am I hoping to accomplish?”

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Actively Seek Criticism

Actively Seek Criticism

If you want to be successful, leave no room for your ego.

You actively submit your strategic plans to feedback and criticism—that’s how they get better.

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Seeing Things As They Are

Seeing Things As They Are

Strategy requires objectivity and seeing things as they are. 

It requires us to put aside how our emotions cloud our thinking with fear overconfidence and see how the situation truly is.

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Adopt Systems & Processes

Adopt Systems & Processes

With a system in place, you can better do the most essential job of a strategist: think long term.

To put into practice your vision, you need systems, routines and rituals—structures that prevent you from sliding off the track. 

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Form a Red Team

Form a Red Team

This is a team with a simple job: to find holes and problems in your plan.

Leave your ego out and be grateful when people expose flaws in your approach.

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Deal With Problems Early

Deal With Problems Early

The best time to do it was yesterday, the next best is right now. 

Don’t put off dealing with your problems. They will only grow.

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Beware of Specialization

Beware of Specialization

If you become too myopic and focused on your scope of work, you might lose contact with the bigger picture.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Leo Tolstoy

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time"

Leo Tolstoy

Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar

"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude."

7 Characteristics Of Strategic Thinkers

  1. Vision: they use a mix of logic and creativity to define ambitious but rigorous visions of what needs to be achieved. 
  2. Framework: taking into account their own biases, timeline and resources, they can define their objectives and develop multiple action plans.
  3. Perceptiveness: they observe and understand the world from all the different perspectives. 
  4. Assertiveness: They’re good at evaluating, deciding and promptly executing their decisions without letting doubts fog their vision. 
  5. Flexibility: they seek advice to compensate for their weaknesses and then twist their ideas and framework to achieve their goals. But they are flexible without breaking the rules. 
  6. Emotional Balance: they are aware and balance their emotions so as to favor the achievement of their goals. 
  7. Patience: they understand that most achievements are a long-term endeavor involving various milestones and a lot of effort. 

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War games

War games

War games are a great way to learn about history and warfare.

The Prussians used war games in the 19th c. to prepare for conflicts. So did the WATU (the UK Western Approach...

War games to hone intuitive decision making

War games are a great tool to sharpen intuitive decision making. Considering that they provide insight, learning, professional development, and entertainment, they can be applied in a very specialized way.

The civilian market offers a variety of computer and board war games that serve this purpose and is often better at simulating war than those designed by the military.

Computer vs. Tabletop games

Computer-based and tabletop-based games fulfil a different purpose and can be complementary.

  • Computer war games are great at simulating the command environment but weak in its tendency for micromanagement and too much detail.
  • Tabletop war games are useful for studying situations in-depth and top-down. It emphasizes the human and technological aspect. The rules provide the gamer insights into war and competition from the beginning.

Boss-mode vs worker-mode

Knowledge workers usually have to play 2 roles at the same time - the boss and the worker: They have to choose what their work is (boss-mode) and they have to do the actu...

Limited attention

Your attention is a limited resource and you have to be careful where you are spending it.
If you choose to give away 80 percent of your attention to meetings, you will have 20 percent of your attention just for dealing with a few emails feeling overwhelmed.

Levels of attention

  • Proactive attention: you are fully focused and prepared for your most important decisions/ most complex tasks.
  • Active attention: you're plugged in, but also easily distracted.
  • Inactive attention: you're likely to really struggle with complex or difficult tasks.