My first business mentor was a man who was 30 years my senior and he taught me a number of things. He taught me that a business was made up of people and it was essential that people were motivated and knowledgeable about their work and the company. The better they performed the better the company did. He also taught me to have harmony between work, sociability, life and home. He could see as he approached his early 60’s how some things he thought were important now looked very unimportant. Knowing what to avoid and what to commit to is a wonderful gift and a clear strategic advantage. Perhaps most important he taught me that having access to knowledge and working with other ambitious people is not just a good thought but a necessity to accomplish my ambitions.
I learned to play Go and apply it to business through The Aji Network . It was a powerful tool to help build distinctions to notice if you’re winning or losing. Our teacher was an internationally ranked player and someone you would definitely want on your team. If you don’t know the game of Go, in a 19 by 19 line game there are 361 possible moves. Most games end around 150 moves when it is clear who has the advantage. In one session our teacher was playing a student, and in about 10 moves he declared the game over. Game over – can you imagine? I was stunned at what knowledge and expertise he held to make that declaration with 97% of the board open. He already knew his opponent could not win given the positions on the board and the level of the competition.
In a global competitive world I want that expertise on my side. Accumulating knowledge for the sake of building the skill for anticipation and moving with velocity is essential to produce competitive advantage. Building a configuration that can help you avoid threats and win the game is powerful.
My purpose in writing this blog is to share with other ambitious businesspeople thinking and practices I have found effective to produce competitive advantage. I have produced a network for myself of highly accomplished and highly competitive businesspeople. I invite you to join me in this journey by reading this blog.