Category Archives: Wisdom

STRATEGY: Exchange the role of guest for host



Look beyond the immediate battle and build on a position of weakness to take control.


I was watching my favorite childhood cartoon movie, GI Joe, yesterday and was reminded of a very powerful strategy that the terrorist organization Cobra uses in most of the cartoons that can be applied in business. If you’re not familiar with GI Joe, Cobra Commander is the leader of the terrorist group know as Cobra and Destro is his 2nd in command (both are in the picture above) but in the movie Destro is the commander while Cobra Commander is the brains behind the weapons they’ll use to takeover the world.

The MARS (aka Cobra) organization is the world’s largest supplier of weapons and Destro is it’s CEO. Cobra Commander takes an inferior position by being able to use Destro’s resources to build a technologically advanced terrorist organization that is of his own making.

This is important to know because Cobra Commander is really just waiting in the wings for Destro’s downfall to take over. Up to this point every weapon Destro’s MARS organization has was designed by Cobra Commander himself and as any good strategist has been influencing every decision the organization has taken before he takes power.

When he finally takes power nothing really changes since he’s planned all of this from the beginning to be this way.


This strategy is called .


This is a very powerful strategy because you start by seeming weaker than the person or business you are trying to take, but in doing so you build on a position of weakness to take control. It’s a deceptive strategy but when well executed opens up a lot of options for you because in reality you are the one in control when giving it up.


Microsoft was born from taking a subordinate position to IBM.


Why this is important to you.

Because you want something and there’s always going to be obstacles standing in your way and most of the time you lack the patience to see the bigger picture. Your natural instincts will tell you to focus on the present and the faster you can get what you want the better, instead look at the big picture and see how taking an inferior position right now can benefit you in the long run by using others resources to your benefit.


There are endless applications of this devastating strategy, have you used this strategy before?

There is no normal. Everyday is a crisis

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There is no secret formula to mastering change but we can start by accepting that . Last week I was in Ninjutsu class and sensei said something very interesting that got me thinking:

Humans have been in crisis everyday since we created fire. 

He was referring to the fact that ninjas were trained to adapt and survive, but there’s something much deeper we can learn from this.

Ninjutsu was born in a time of turmoil in Japan and by it’s nature is fluid and non-linear, it was created on the assumption that war is unpredictable and so you must adapt to changing conditions intuitively.

As a society we are faced with tremendous challenges right now because as humans we fall into the mindset that some events are preceded by other events, this is flawed.

Instead of thinking of the world where the present is determined by the past, we must adopt the mindset that change is continuous and unending. is an art of war and in war there isn’t a normal state, you have to be constantly adapting and changing to circumstances which are out of your control. It is less and art of prediction and more of anticipation where you become part of your surroundings as much as your opponent.

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You reinvent yourself by adapting to what’s happening around you and gain power by being able to constantly shift and adjust. By being fast and non-linear we stay ahead of our opponents and adapt to opportunity because standing still means death.

So what we should do is not wait for the storm to pass but act and behave as if the storm is always here.

To each his own


Andy Sernovitz always posts interesting stories on his blog, and his latest one is about how a and the airline the gave mom and boy free flights for life. This is remarkable!

This airline has created a couple of very happy , to which Andy ends the post asking:

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How do you become legendary?

I answered the call and got a response.

Everyone has their own preferences and are entitled to do whatever makes them happy, but in my opinion sometimes people follow the same dreams as others. The common man’s dream.

If you follow everyone else’s dreams then who are you?  !

I believe that:

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You become legendary by doing what others are unwilling to do.

You become legendary by not following conventional wisdom.

You become legendary by exceeding expectations.

You become legendary by creating your own rules.

You become legendary by creating new possibilities where others see none.

You become legendary by being better every day.

You become legendary by making others better everyday.

You become legendary by making people happy everyday.


How’s your legend growing?

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge

10 Lessons in Fearlessness


Have you read the 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction and the 33 Strategies of War? If you haven’t, you should!

Author Robert Greene wrote those books and just a few weeks ago his newest book, written with 50 Cent, hit the shelves. I haven’t read the book (it’s on my wish list) but in the above presentation 10 essential lessons from the book are distilled.

Must read books for entrepreneurs


Are you looking for some new reading material that can help you be a better entrepreneur?

A few days ago venture capitalist Fred Wilson posted a few books he thinks upcoming entrepreneurs should read, from over 150 comments came more suggestions and a list of must read books for entrepreneurs was born.

You should know that these are not pure business books but a combination of novels and fiction books with great stories.

Get a coach to give you perspective

download Karma, Confessions and Holi

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One thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them.

Here’s a great piece of advice from Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

The advice that sticks out I got from John Doerr, who in 2001 said, "My advice to you is to have a coach." The coach he said I should have is Bill Campbell. I initially resented the advice, because after all, I was a CEO. I was pretty experienced. Why would I need a coach? Am I doing something wrong? My argument was, How could a coach advise me if I’m the best person in the world at this? But that’s not what a coach does. The coach doesn’t have to play the sport as well as you do. They have to watch you and get you to be your best. In the business context a coach is not a repetitious coach. A coach is somebody who looks at something with another set of eyes, describes it to you in [his] words, and discusses how to approach the problem.


Watch the rest of the from Fortune for more useful insights.

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How Michael Jordan influenced me


Michael Jordan, “The Greates Ever” will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in September.

I remember watching Michael Jordan for the first time when I was 15 years old, watching the Bulls lose against the Orlando Magic in the playoffs when he had just come back from playing baseball. The hype of his comeback was in full force and I was taken by it.

Because of Michael Jordan I started studying and playing basketball. I became so obsessed that I started reading playbooks and more importantly I started to dig deep into Michael Jordan’s thinking.

I wanted to know what made him great. Why was he considered the “Greatest” to ever lace them up.

I was a 15 year old kid and had found a perfect role model to look up to.

10 ways Michael Jordan has influenced me

I found the following things to be key in his thinking and that have influenced me:

  • On earning respect and being a leader:

Nothing of value comes without being earned. That’s why great leaders are those who lead by example first. You can’t demand respect because of a title or a position and expect people to follow. That might work for a little while, but in the long run people respond to what they see.

  • On making your rise to the top easier and then being able to maintain your edge:

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“I practice so hard because that makes the game easy for me.”

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“I focus on the little things. Little things add up to big things.”

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  • On having the will to succeed:

“I can accept failure but I can’t accept not trying.”

  • On accepting that some things happen for a reason. You have to move forward:

The Last Word hd “Only be accountable for what you can control.”

  • On setting high expectations for yourself and being consistent on meeting them:

“My expectation was excellence each and every time I stepped on the court. Whether is was practice or game, I was there to win.”

  • On thriving in pressure situations:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

  • On being yourself everyday:

“Michael Jordan isn’t afraid of being Michael Jordan everyday. He never takes a day off.” – Bill Russell

“If others had a negative opinion about something I said or something I did, then that was their opinion. It wasn’t going to affect me.”

“It was the idea somebody might be sitting there who had never seen Michael Jordan play.”

Thanks Michael!