As if a modern army didn’t have enough to worry about, military command has to constantly police its own troops to ensure they don’t hurt themselves. Whether it is by accident, carelessness, or just plain stupidity, a self-inflicted wound is as painful (and as deadly) as one from the enemy.
In command of your staff, you have to be equally diligent. It’s human nature to get tired. To not think before speaking. To be impulsive or emotional. If you allow your employees to succumb to these pressures, you run the risk of damaging your own efforts, even before your competitor takes a shot.
Take a minute and I am sure you’ll come up with countless examples in your own company or industry. A negative, insensitive or sexist remark in the press. A simple contract omission that was missed at 2 in the morning. Not backing-up data because you didn’t want to spend the money. Forgoing the patience and discipline to wait for the right hire and then watching helplessly as your quick choice loses a major client. These are all prime examples of self-inflicted wounds that could have, in retrospect, been easily avoided.
In summary, keep in mind that there are more than enough internal and external threats to worry about, without shooting yourself in the foot. As a leader in your organization, instill in your company the discipline to avoid such mishaps. You won’t stop them all and you’ll never know which ones you dodged. But you will however make sure that the large majority of your resources are used proactively against your competitors, rather than reactively to fix an internal mistake.
TORPEDOES IN THE WATER
How many “hits” can your company take?
PROPAGANDA, DISINFORMATION, DECEPTION (Use ‘em!)
Your competitors will believe most of what they hear
You have enough to worry about – don’t shoot yourself in the foot
DISRUPT THE ENEMY’S SUPPLY LINES
Cut off the “fuel” that feeds your competitor’s business