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Art Of War | Lesson Of Control 4 of 4

Do you lead or are you part of an organization, family or company? The Art Of War has wisdom that you could apply today to help you and your group succeed.

This is the fourth and final lesson on control.

The Art of war is a military text believed to be written by an ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu in 5th century B.C. Its texts carry great weight when applied to Business and life, as much as warfare.

Control Change

Remember that a war can be fought in the mind as much as the battlefield.

“To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order, to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm confident array – this is the art of studying circumstances.”

– Sun Tzu (ART OF WAR)

This one calls to us, to see the situation that lies before us, and examine all influenceable aspects. When examining a situation, what variables can we change? Where and what are the levers within our realm of control.

Often times, to determine what is within our control, we must define what is not within our control. Examining the opposite is a worthwhile task. Warren Buffets business partner and friend Charlie Munger calls it the law of inversion.

If Sun Tzu feels that an army who is in perfect order, who is drawn up and confident in their appearance, is not an army to be messed with. Then we must look at this literally as well.

Appearance carries weight.

How we present ourselves individually, as a group, as a family, as an organization, as a product, all bear weight. Not only is our appearance important because of its impact on those who may seek to break us down, but also our appearance can

  • increase our level of self-confidence
  • Increase our power.
  • Effect Likeability
  • Establish Authority
  • Impact persuasion and influence

In a recent study on the impact of dress importance in negotiations. Participants in flip flops and sweat pants negotiated in a sales deal, and on average received 70% less favorable results than those in business suit and tie.

On the flip side, students asked to rate college professors who worked at prestigious universities, rated the ‘casual dressed’ professor as more respected than the one in suit and tie. The reason was the professor’s non-conformist attitude towards the establishment.

In Stanley Milgrams experiment we saw how perceived authority could create obedience in others. How we dress can have a significant impact in how others perceive our authority.

Conformity is created by being similar, when a person mirrors another, and acts like them, they create a positive impression in the other person, in other words they are liked. If you seek likeability, dress like others, if you want influence and persuasion, dress apart.

How we present ourselves impacts our performance, in how people treat us, how people perceive us, and how we treat ourselves. And this my friends is entirely in our control!

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