The right timing is a part of every success. Luck can play an essential part in the outcome of our strategy. At times, after all the correct data is collected, and market intelligence is understood, risks still exist. Businesses must place bets. I grew up in the South Pacific, the United States and Australia. Today, Australian casinos are busy with mostly Asian gamblers. In the United States, people gamble on lots of things, including sport and the stock market. When I was a teenager, Australia was very much a horse and dog racing culture. At the racetrack, a 'bookie' was the person who picks the odds of a horse or dog winning or placing and takes people's bets. At school, some students placed bets amongst themselves on horse and greyhound races. A family friend, Alex, who was a few years older than me, would take horse bets from other students on the 'Melbourne Cup', which is the largest annual horse race in Australia. Alex was bright and had come up with a good set of odds. Odds he hoped would give him a nice profit. When race day arrived, his father, Joe, who had recently discovered Alex's illegal activity, demanded [...]
Books surrounded me growing up. Our home had rooms neatly filled from floor to ceiling with books of every description. Wherever I looked, there they were: leather-bound Encyclopedia Britannica sets, shelves filled with National Geographic, Life, Newsweek and Time magazines, the complete works of Shakespeare and Dickens. I remember titles by Hemingway, Orwell, Scott Fitzgerald, Louis Stevenson, Homer, Plato, Dante, Tolstoy, Goethe, Proust, Chekov, Aesop, Poe, Wilde, Anderson, Joyce and Asimov. I remember titles by Einstein, Knuth and Wirth. Our house was also home to dozens of cold war spy, sci-fi and romance novels. There were books on poetry, art, music, science, literature, mathematics, computing, philosophy, anthropology, religion, home economics and travel. Swimsuit editions of Sports Illustrated or Wheels Magazines were nowhere in sight. There was not a single book or magazine about sport, psychology, or business, yet I spent much of my early adult life reading about these subjects – to my parents’ amazement. As you might imagine, in our home, books were a kind of religion and reading was sacred. I rebelled at first, preferring to be outside creating my own world. When I began to read in earnest, I learnt that one must never mark or damage [...]
Agility can be a powerful asset for small players and one a Judo student must learn. Being quick helps neutralize competitive threats posed by larger players. Being balanced helps us absorb counter moves by more off-balanced giants, which in turn gives us leverage to use their strengths against them! Former Southwest Airlines Chief, Herb Kelleher passed away this year, but his lessons about strategy live on. Herb said, "If you think and act big, you will grow smaller. If you think an act small, you will grow bigger." Southwest gained market share by targeting the smaller regional airport hubs and leaving the larger and congested airports to the already entrenched larger airlines. Southwest also gained market share with its "bags fly free" strategy. A strategy that larger airlines could not match, as they relied on it for short term cash flow.