Successful strategy is about surprise.
Running straight at a problem when it’s well established is suicide. Throughout military history frontal assaults against prepared defenses have failed.
History says you need an element of surprise. Almost all successful attacks have hit enemies from the rear, from the flank, or anywhere it is not expected:
If you’re a little David against a big Goliath, it’s definitely about surprise. You need to break the rules to win.
When underdogs play by the rules, they lose 72% of the time. When they break with established strategy and innovate, they win 64% of the time.
So how do you engineer surprise? Deliberately mislead the enemy.
In his classic The Art of War, Sun Tzu said “All warfare is based on deception“:
Deception is key. You’d be smart to heed the words of The Godfather: Keep your friends close — and your enemies closer.
Research shows dominant leaders really do exactly that:
This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
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