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Published: November 28, 2007

 
 

The Dance of Power

In aikido, the ability to manage an attack skillfully derives from self-knowledge. To quote Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War:

And so in the military —
     Knowing the other and knowing oneself,
     In one hundred battles no danger.
     Not knowing the other and knowing oneself,
     One victory for one loss.
     Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself,
     In every battle certain defeat.

Richard Strozzi-Heckler takes these precepts and adapts them to the leadership challenges of our era, for both military and civilian organizations, helping each sector learn from the other. What they learn today is different from what they learned from one another in the industrial era. The difference can be summarized in one of the classic commentaries to Sun Tzu: “For the skilled general, victory is attained before the battle is joined. He awaits the moment. A military that rushes to the fight, hoping for victory, assumes the ground of defeat. Blend and harmonize.”

Reprint No. 07406

Author Profile:


Sally Helgesen ([email protected]) is a leadership development consultant and author of five books, including The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership (Doubleday, 1990) and The Web of Inclusion: Architecture for Building Great Organizations (Currency/ Doubleday, 1995). Her Web site is www.sallyhelgesen.com.
 
 
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Resources

  1. Klaus-Peter Gushurst, “The New Leadership — Sober, Spirited, and Spiritual,” s+b enews, 1/08/2004: Explains how leadership styles today combine the classic values of discipline and execution with the contemporary values of openness and natural expression. Click here.
  2. George Leonard, The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei (Dutton, 1999): Evocative overview from the man who introduced Strozzi-Heckler to the military.
  3. Nikos Mourkogiannis, “The Realist’s Guide to Moral Purpose,” s+b, Winter 2005: Four ideals of leadership that appeal to our deepest instincts — and that can inspire a company to long-term success. Click here.
  4. Randall Rothenberg, “Noel M. Tichy: The Thought Leader Interview,” s+b, Spring 2003: The University of Michigan leadership teacher says that the essential leadership skill is teaching. Click here. 
  5. Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Anatomy of Change: A Way to Move Through Life’s Transitions (North Atlantic Books, 1997): How to gain a new awareness of one’s potential and range of choices using practices drawn from aikido and Lomi body work.
  6. Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Holding the Center: Sanctuary in a Time of Confusion (Frog, 1997): Strozzi-Heckler calls on personal experience to analyze the balance between instinct and choice, and between power and generosity.
  7. Richard Strozzi-Heckler, In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets (North Atlantic Books, 2003): Is it possible for a soldier in the age of high-tech warfare to act morally? Strozzi-Heckler explores this question.
  8. Richard Strozzi-Heckler, The Leadership Dojo: Build Your Foundation as an Exemplary Leader (Frog, 2007): An exploration of three critical leadership questions: What does a leader do? What are the character values most essential to exemplary leadership? How do you teach these values?
  9. The Strozzi Institute Web site: More information about Richard Strozzi-Heckler’s organization. Click here.
  10. For more business thought leadership, sign up for s+b’s RSS feeds. Click here.
 
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