Have the competition beaten before you start

The picture you see is of 5th Century BC Chinese warlord, Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu is famous for not only his achievements as a warrior leader, but also for his principles of waging and winning wars.

His principles have been translated into many spheres of life including business and sport.

I regularly quoted his mantras to the teams I coached. However, one of my favourite quotes is this slide –

This principle in my opinion clearly relates to beating your opposition, whether it be sport, business, x-Box, or whatever the game is.

My aim with the teams I coached was to have us so well prepared for the match, the series, the tournament that we were about to play, that we had our opposition already in awe before we actually walked onto the field to compete.

To chase the vision of Everest, of being labelled something akin to ‘The Invincibles’, then we needed to better skilled technically, physically and mentally than our competitors.

In terms of our tactical approach, I wanted to be able to play a game that no other teams could play, or at least could match.

In everything we were doing, I wanted to be the GAME CHANGER – to give ourselves best chance of not only winning, but dominating our opposition.

I wanted to have the game (the war) won before it started!

However, as Sun TZU understood, that having such an approach, a vision was very important, victory could never be guaranteed.

It was also important to have other elements or pillars to give your team, your army best chance of winning.

I outline these as –
1. Vision & key strategies
2. Leadership culture
3. Learning environment
4. Talent
5. Success measures

To dominate the market place, a business or team needs to be guided by a vision that chooses this destination – to play a game that no one else in the market can match.

Share This Post:

Get The First Chapter Of Our eBook For FREE!

Short description of the resource and explanation why it might be useful for one’s choice.

Related Posts

The Ashes

The Ashes

What Business can learn cricket. I was recently asked a series of questions about the significance of The Ashes. I coached the last Australian team to win in England in 2001. I coached a further 3 Ashes contests winning at home in 2003-04, losing a remarkable series in 2005, and…
Read Full Article
Art Skill Mindfulness

Leadership and the art or skill of Mindfulness

There have been plenty of articles written on this topic such as the one included by HBR – ARTICLE LINK The article discusses some of the work of Daniel Goleman, one of the great proponents of EI. The article also discusses the range of techniques to allow people especially busy…
Read Full Article


Here’s The Three Ways You Can Work
With Us To Achieve Better, Lasting Results.

A coach and a leader with a unique perspective on the world, John is at home in any environment which seeks change, a desire for peak performance, and a vision to be the world’s best.



Are you planning to reach your Everest…be at the top of your game like a world champion team? Master Coach and Strategist John Buchanan will give you the road map, the tools and the inspiration you need to reach your summit.



This world champion coaching model will provide you, your team and your business with a road map to the top and the sacrificial acts that world champion teams embrace to give the best chance of having a “PB day”, every day at work.

Online Programs

Online Programs

I will be building relevant, insightful, practical courses and modules which will help you as a Leader and/or Coach to quickly make changes to the way you lead your teams, and indeed, the teams you want to create.