Give mission orders rather than detailed instructions

In pre-Napoleon armies, all subordinates waited for specific instructions from the general before doing anything. Even if there was a defenceless enemy in front of them, unless they had written instructions saying, “If you see enemy, kill him”, they would not attack.It was total a command-and-control structure. The trouble is that it was very inflexible. Local…

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4 tell-tales of bad partners

According to Charlie Munger, 90% of success is not doing stupid stuff.The stupidest and most dangerous thing you can do is bring in the wrong partners.It’s hard to resist bringing in partners, especially when you’re under pressure and desperate for help.In times like these it’s easy to override your gut feel. To quell that quiet…

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Aim for the spot where the enemy forces overlaps

In almost every battle he fought, Napoleon was vastly outnumbered. And yet he always won (until he made the mistake of invading Russia).The secret was that he would concentrate ALL his forces on the hinges of the opposing armies.For example, when facing the Prussian and Austro-Hungarian armies, he would focus his efforts at the point…

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Solve the most painful problem

Opportunity is where problems are. Sometimes there are many problems. Don’t try solve them all. Pick the problem that is causing the most pain, solve it. People will pay for pain to go away. Don’t pain attention to any other problems until you’ve solved the most painful one.

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Succeed at home before expanding away

When you start a business, especially in tech, it’s easy to get geographically ambitious. Why limit yourself to Gauteng? Why not do Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KZN at the same time? Why limit yourself to South Africa? Why not do Zimbabwe and Kenya and Nigeria at the same time? Why stop at Africa? Take over the…

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Don’t lose your self belief

You might lose your money, your good name, your friends, your house, your health, your car, your business. Hard as they are to bear, these losses are survivable. What’s not survivable is losing your self-belief. When you’re down on the mat, no friend in sight, that’s when it’s easy to doubt your own magic. That’s…

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Don’t fight whisper campaigns

Whisper campaigns are a favored weapon of crooks. Instead of confronting you head-on, your enemy will start rumors behind your back, planting seeds of doubt in the minds of whoever wants to listen. The only way to fight a whisper campaign is to do the same. Be sneaky behind the back of your enemy. Don’t…

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Don’t get revenge, get even

Somewhere along the way, someone will swindle you. Maybe it will be an employee, maybe a partner, maybe a supplier. You will be screwed. You can’t go through life without being screwed. You can’t stop it. It’s inevitable. All you can do is manage how you react to being screwed. Do you take revenge? Revenge…

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There are seven kinds of unhappy staff

Your staff can be unhappy for one of seven reasons: Incompetence – Train your staff to do the jobs they’re expected to do. If they can’t be trained, find other staff. Doesn’t know what his job is – Everyone needs to know how they’re being measured. Take the time to explain the position and what outcomes are…

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Good processes can overcome bad people

At the beginning of a startup it’s easy to get away without processes and rules and handbooks. The company is small, you can attract stars, the slackers can’t hide, you can keep a hand on everything. Small businesses can rely on individual magic for success. Good people can overcome bad processes. The trouble comes when your…

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Repetition creates flooding

Rain every day for three weeks is more powerful than rain every second day for six weeks. Constant rain does not allow for the ground to absorb the water and be ready for the next storm. Uninterrupted rain leads to overflowing dams and flooding. That’s what you need in your business. Flooding. You need to flood the market with your…

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What is your greatest fear?

Is it fear of missing out? Fear of losing face? Fear of losing money? Fear of losing control? Fear of change? Whatever it is, it’s holding you back. The only way to overcome your fears is to do what scares you, again and again. Every time you survive you’ll be a little more immunized to…

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