Action Decisions

Completing Comparisons

In using Warrior's Rules, everything comes down to comparing alternatives. Since all action (and non-action) has costs, to understand your alterantives, you must compare both the potential rewards and the potential costs when you cannot calculate either exactly. What you do know is what your current position is and that any future moves must go from there.

The Science of Ignorance

Strategy was developed to consistently make the best of situations that cannot be controlled and are very incompletely understood. The "fog of war" is a necessary condition of all competitive situations. In a competitive situation, no one reveals their plans and everyone's plans collide creating conditions no one can plan. Many find this concept difficult to understand because more and more of us are living under the increasing illusion that modern science has all the answers. The truth is much more difficult: the more science advances, the more we discover that we do not know.

Intentional Misinformation

To continue on the topic of misdiagnosing positions, Sun Tzu makes a central issue of never factoring out the purposeful deception of others. You always have to ask yourself about people's motives for offering the information they do. For example, an very interesting financial blog,, uses the MSM news as a contra-indicator of market direction. When the media's business coverage is primarily negative, the market is going up but when it turns positive, it is time to sell.

The Expert Performance Movement

Sun Tzu taught that the art of war was a skill, by which he meant that it wasn't innate. You have to learn to strategy through training. The new "Expert Performance Movement," which studies what those who excel have in common no matter what field they work in. They come to a interesting conclusion.
Deliberate practice entails more than simply repeating a task... Rather, it involves setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.

Motivation and Means

Sun Tzu teaches that we all do what we are rewarded for doing. However, what we are rewarded for doing depends on our methods and skills, that is, the means we use to get rewarded. To understand and predict behavior, we must understand both what people see as a reward and how their particular skills limit their potential rewards. (More on the Sun Tzu's types of rewards and who pursues them move to the Strategy School blog. ) When people make their living by "talking" as opposed to "doing" they tend to focus more on status rewards because their talk must influence the doers to be successful.


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