Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Monday, September 20, 2010

The 36 Strategies, #35: Scheme in Continuous Circles

Next to The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The 36 Strategies is the most widely known book on strategy in Asian. Where the AoW describes the entire subject of strategy in a methodical textbook like manner, the 36 tries to impart the knack of strategic thinking by way of maxims organized in six groups of six each.

#35 is: Scheme in Continuous Circles.

I think it was Woody Allen who said that the best laid plans of mice and men are about the same. You simply can't rely on one fixed strategy. Unforeseen events may knock your plans off kilter. Also you can never tell what unforeseen opportunity may come your way to provide you with new options.

At work, I was hired for sales as an account manager. I began laying plans for doing what I could to succeed at sales. With the bad economy, they low balled me (which is understandable), so I had to figure out ways to recover some of what I lost.

After a couple of months, a key technical guy who worked on special programs quit and they asked me if I'd take over his activities and even expand on them.

You bet. Within the company, I'm going from being an expendable sales man to a key customer contact. I am making myself a whole lot more marketable in that I am now working with a major automaker and a major university on research projects on hybrid vehicles, customizing some of our products for them, and even teaching a course on writing certain kinds of software.

I'm giving myself both more job security and making myself more valuable to someone else as well.


Universal Energy said...

Great post. I have never heard of the 36 Strategies. I will definitely have to look that one up.

As a writer of how to apply the Bushido code to modern life. I truly believe that much of what was written by the ancient Asian warriors and warlords still is useful today.

Rick Matz said...

Welcome to Cook Ding's Kitchen. Please make yourself at home.