Everyone needs a Strategy

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson

EVERYONE NEEDS a strategy. Leaders of armies, major corporations, and political parties have long been expected to have strategies, but now no serious organization could imagine being without one. Despite the problems of finding ways through the uncertainty and confusion of human affairs, a strategic approach is still considered to be preferable to one that is merely tactical, let alone random. Having a strategy suggests an ability to look up from the short term and the trivial to view the long term and the essential, to address causes rather than symptoms, to see woods rather than trees. Without a strategy, facing up to any problem or striving for any objective would be considered negligent. Certainly no military campaign, company investment, or government initiative is likely to receiving backing unless there is a strategy to evaluate. If a decision can be described as strategically significant, then it is obviously more important than decisions of a more routine nature. By extension, people making such decisions are more important than those who only offer advice or are tasked with implementation.

Strategy: A History
Sir Lawrence Freedman

Relationships vs Transactions

Renowned researcher and author Jim Collins makes his second appearance on The Knowledge Project, this time to share a wealth of life lessons learned from his mentor and collaborator, Bill Lazier. Jim recently released BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0), an ambitious upgrade of his first book Beyond Entrepreneurship, co-authored with Lazier and focused on effective leadership style. Shane discusses all new topics with Jim in their follow-up conversation, including what it means to be a mentor and a father, why we should trust by default, why we confuse living a long life with a great life, and the difference between being afraid of risk and being afraid of ambiguity.

( contributed by Justin)

Book Recommendation – The Messy Middle By Scott Belsky

( Recommended by Glen Barry)
“Starting a new venture is like jumping off a cliff and sewing a parachute on the way down. This book is the parachute.” —Joe Gebbia, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Airbnb
 
“This is required reading for founders. Experienced entrepreneurs all know this period Scott refers to as ‘the messy middle’ and a few of us have worked our way out of it, but this is the first time I’ve seen an expert—both as a founder and as an investor—break down in such detail just how to endure, optimize, and make it through.” —Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Initialized Capital and Reddit
 
“Scott Belsky is a master of generous work worth doing. The Messy Middle will help you see that you have more control than you dare to admit, and the ability to make a difference if you care enough.” —Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
 
“Having been through the ups and downs of the messy middle many times, it’s critical to understand the challenges ahead. This insightful book empowers you to approach them head-on. Belsky’s powerful toolkit, based on hard earned experiences, is an essential guide to building a compelling product, revolutionizing an organization or growing your leadership abilities.” —Tony Fadell, inventor of the iPod, co-inventor of the iPhone, founder and former CEO of Nest, Principal at Future Shape

“Building a lasting business is 1% idea and 99% resilience. The Messy Middle details the unglamorous but essential lessons every founder needs to learn.” —Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder & CEO, Rent The Runway

The Messy Middle is one of my favorite business books of the last decade. It’s humble, smart, vulnerable, and precise. If you do complex work (don’t we all?), this book will show you how to navigate the most difficult part of any endeavor.” —Todd Henry, author of Herding Tigers

“With The Messy Middle, Belsky delivers a brilliant book that goes past dogma and slogans into key tactics and ideas. … Small business teams and evolving start up teams will find The Messy Middle useful for refining every aspect of their game.”— Small Business Trends