T is for Tactical Hell

Image result for trench warfare painting


A concept from The 33 Strategies of War and The 50th Law. Tactical hell refers to a situation in which you are simply reacting to events and circumstances in life, instead of actually taking control of the situation. Your reactions may be clever (i.e. tactical), but you are only barely keeping your head above water. For example, you may have a sly, witty, or biting retort when a rival says something negative to or about you, but such a retort does little to actually resolve the conflict.

To get out of tactical hell, you must think strategically. You must develop what Greene calls “strategy-in-depth.” This is the ability to see above the fray, about the situation, and get a clear view of where you are going. Here you can decide what battles to fight, what battles to avoid, and how to move forward.

G is for Grand Strategy

The Gods on Mount Olympus


Strategy 12 from The 33 Strategies of War. Greene calls grand strategy “the art of looking beyond the battle and calculating ahead.” It involves constructing a plan with a clear goal in mind and adapting to the circumstances while keeping that goal in mind.

Creating a strong grand strategy is one of the toughest, yet most important skills to achieve power. In war, it means differentiating between fighting and winning, between contending for every advantage and being willing to lose some battles for the greater good you’re trying to achieve.