The Art of Fighting without Fighting

There is much to be emulated in the quiet strength of a confident leader. Someone who need not force their strength, vision or goals upon their team. Someone who collaborates, someone who leads by example, someone with inner strength (not rattled by every threat), someone who is aware and connected.

On the other hand, I remember early on in my career in the book business, when I was learning to build client relationships via events. But I hadn't yet learned how to collaborate nor how to build buy-in for my team (that is, I didn’t know how to "get a goat”). I remember we were planning to host a Harry Potter midnight release party (attendance was roughly 1500 people), and I was the point-person for our logistics, hype, and flow. I had developed my plan - and let me say, it was aces - and I had assumed (presumed) that my team would be elated with my plan. … They weren’t. And I took their critique and suggestions as rejection of my plan. I was offended. They thought I was a prima dona. The midnight release party was a hit, but our collaboration wasn’t.

That proposal to my team was a seminal moment for me. From that event on, I began the study of collaboration - how to share ideas, to listen, to not take suggestions as an attack, to get a goat (or become one).

And so, for me today, The Art of Fighting without Fighting does not reference battle but simply our interactions and collaborations. Why force? Why shout that we are strong? Why take offense?

Instead, lead and collaborate.

For further consideration:

* Tao te Ching, by Lao Tzu, Gia Fu Feng & Jane English, translators

* How Bruce Lee Changed the World (DVD)


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