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Kung fu fighting: When you need to winag

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in Leaders & Managers

Cooperation is fine, but sometimes, a leader has to come out ahead in oneon- one competition for a specific prize. 

Here are four practical tactics that a black belt martial artist recommends for coming out ahead:

  1. Surprise. Because an unexpected first strike is the most devastating, move to reach your goal before your opponent even knows a battle is about to begin.
  2. Distance. If you’re far enough away from your opponent, he or she can’t hit you. Practical application: Know which of your assets are not in danger of attack from your opponent, even if he or she thinks they are. Example: She thinks that your team’s focus will disappear under attack; you know it will not. Count on it.
  3. Unfocused eyes. Martial artists know that if they look at their opponents’ hands, they’ll get kicked; if they look at their feet, they’ll get punched. Practical application: Remember that an opponent’s most visible activity may represent an attempt to pull your attention away from an attack that is taking place elsewhere.
  4. Extensive repertoire. A tactic that worked once loses its advantage and rarely works a second time. Come to battle with four or five strategies ready for every situation.

    — Adapted from “Coach Parcells on Turnarounds,” Zeke Ashton, The Motley Fool.

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