GaryGagliardi's blog

Key Strategic Mistakes: the Presidential Race Thus Far

This would be a good time to look at the presidential race thus far in terms of strategy. The race could be a landslide either way in November but remains close because both candidates keep making simple strategic errors. The top three strategic flaw for each candidate are: Obama: 1) Slow to recognized and correct judgment errors, i.e. Rev. Wright and Iraq surge, 2) Failure to see climate differences between big cities and most of America, 3) Seems more interested in winning praise than winning the election.

Fighting to Lose: How Politicians Get in Wrong

Sun Tzu teaches that attacking others is the poorest way to make progress. In most situations, we hurt ourselves more than we hurt our opponents. This problem is illustrated by the recent ban on new fast-food restaurants in LA. While the politicians think they are attacking fast-food, they are actually rewarding them and actually giving them a pile of profits to promote their product.

Actions Speak Louder the Words: Future Energy

Sun Tzu teaches that we listen to people to learn their plans, but that we judge their words by actions. The world has always been divided between doers and talkers. While our modern media is dominated by those who do the talking, the future is being created by those who are busy doing. A good example is what is happening on the energy/global warming front. A great summary is offered by this article in Forbes. While politicians talk about non-carbon energy, the world of doers is embracing it.

Communication and Symbols: Obama's Strengths

Leadership demands great communication skills. Sun Tzu specifically teaches that a leader must focus his people's attention on him using the right tools. One of the great weaknesses of Bush has been his lack of such skills and his inability to use symbols. The later half of Obama's European trip, the speech in Germany and press conference in France, were great applications of communication skills and symbolism. McCain simply pales in comparison, but such skills can be mastered no matter what your natural limitations.

Save the World: Stop Eating!

Sun Tzu's strategy was developed because it is so easy to lose touch with reality. How easy? In this earlier post, I compared the idea that we can stop using oil to the idea equally silly idea that to save the environment, we must stop eating. Apparently, this wasn't as much of a parody as I thought. Today, I see this report from ABC news telling us that to save the earth we must stop eating. Or make a start anyway by stop eating beef.

Predicting the Future: A Landslide for McCain?

Sun Tzu's strategy teaches the predicting the future is very dangerous. The most important aspect of competition cannot be predicted. Most events are unexpected and what really matters is knowing how to react to them. Recently this article predicting a landslide for McCain got a lot of attention but its main thesis is simply that there is a lot of time left for Obama's arrogance to create opportunities.

Strategic Perspective: Food for Thought

Foolish ideas seem logical if they are repeated often enough. Sun Tzu's strategy teaches the use of analogies to support logic. For example, do the arguments about energy policy make sense in terms of food policy? Current food technology does a thousand times more ecological damage than any other human activity including using oil. Farming cuts down trees, plows up the land, depletes limited water resources, spreads dangerous chemicals, and intentionally poisons natural plants and animals. Using ecologically unsound food is destroying the planet.

Leveraging Expectations: Prediction Confirmed

In this earlier post on the third of this month, I explained how Sun Tzu's strategy uses subjective perceptions to leverage changes in objective positions. I predicted that if politicians would just start taking actions that would change people's expectations about the FUTURE of oil availability, the price would drop immediately not years ahead when the oil actually becomes available.

A Proven Prediction: The Power Curve

For some time, I have written about how the "power curve" represents many aspect of competition situations better than the "bell curve" that charts controlled situations. Thanks to a reader, we now have some solid scientific research that verifies our observation, providing the first solid proof for a prediction we have made based on Sun Tzu's 2,500 year-old science.


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