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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

General Principles of Strategy

I define strategy as the principles that lead to a plan for victory. Here's what I have so far:

1. Speed

If you are faster than your enemy, you can hit while he is weak and run away before enemy reinforcements arrive. More generally, the early bird gets the worm.

2. Surprise

If your enemy doesn't know what you're going to do or when, you will win.

3. Focus

Pursue one great goal with vigor and determination. Find the critical point and concentrate your strength on it. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

4. Deception

This is the single most powerful principle in strategy. It is no wonder so many great strategists speak of its importance.  If your enemy's beliefs about you are false, you will surely win.

These principles apply mostly to war, but are also relevant to sports, politics, business, and any other kind of competition.

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