The Art of Not Fighting

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In “Enter the Dragon”, Bruce Lee is confronted by another fighter, a bully who challenges him and berates him while on a boat to a tournament.  The other fighter harasses him “What’s your style?” to which Bruce responds “The Art of Fighting Without Fighting.”  The bully insists he be shown this, and Lee says “Not here, over there on that island.  We can take this boat,” pointing to the dingy.  The bully agrees, climbs into the boat and Bruce Lee casts it off and hands the tow rope to the delighted children as the bully sputters and fumes in his leaky and bouncy little craft.  Fight over.

Be like Bruce Lee.  Fight without fighting.

Last week I was looking at office space and the guy showing me around said “I’m about to retire, what’s the market going to do?”  And I responded “I have no clue, and quite frankly that’s the smallest of your worries.  Retirement is about income not assets, and removing risks like inflation, market, and longevity.  Plus taxes are going to go way up over your lifetime, so its all about tax efficient income instead of a balance on paper that is an illusion.”  That certainly knocked him for a loop, a flawless bloodless victory without ever having to fight the dozens of other advisors he talked to or CXX Stock Pick Du Jour.

As Sun Tzu said, the greatest generals win the battle without ever fighting.

Bruce Lee and I changed the situation, made it so we were unable to be hit and thus unable to lose. 

How do you alter the equation, re-create the scenario so you can win?  James T Kirk was the only one to ever win the Kobayashi Maru Scenario because he went outside the rules (but not forbidden, so technically allowed) to alter the game and win.

Do you think outside the box and approach your clients and their problems differently, or are you cookie cutter?

Differences sell, not similarities.

Change the conversation and you change the dynamic.  Change the dynamic and you are at an advantage instead of a disadvantage; you become memorable and more likely to be able to help the client because you upset their apple cart of presuppositions and allow them to learn without bias.

Fight without fighting.

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