equally powerful strategic principle in any field of endeavor. You choose when andwhere to take action, putting your competition immediately on the defensive. But,remember that there are two parts to this principle. First, you must gain theinitiative; second, you must maintain it. To seize and maintain the initiative, follow these five steps:
1. Thoroughly analyze the situation before taking action. A carefulanalysis can lay the groundwork for great success.2. Maintain the initiative by looking for hidden opportunities and newsolutions. Don’t just rest on your laurels.3. Act now! You cannot afford to wait for conditions to be perfect in orderto implement your strategy.4. Once your strategy is set, take bold action to gain the advantage. Thereis always some risk involved in taking the initiative, but if you havestudied the situation carefully, you should be well aware of the potentialrisks.5. After you’ve gained the advantage, keep the pressure on. That way,your competition will always be playing catch-up.
STRATEGIC LOG’S 4: Economize to Mass Your Resources
‘‘If you would be pope, you must think of nothing else.’’‘‘Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentratethem.’’
ECONOMIZING TO MASS
Early on, the successful strategist learns that it is essential to concentrate hisresources where they’ll count the most. In any situation, winning requires that youhave more resources at the decisive strategicposition than your opponent. Since you can’t be strong everywhere, you must massyour resources against a clearly defined objective where you are stronger than yourcompetition. You bring your resources—money, people, time, skill, know-how,influence, or whatever—together by massing them at the right place, and at theright time. In order to do this, you need to economize your resources elsewhere. There are three important points to keep in mind:
1. You cannot consistently win unless you mass and concentrate yourresources.2. You mass by economizing your resources elsewhere. That is, you takeresources from where they are less important and position them wherethey are more important.3. Economizing and concentrating requires risk. This risk is unavoidable.
STRATEGIC LOG’S 5: Use Strategic Positioning
‘‘The essence of strategy is, with a weaker army, always to have more force at acrucial point than the enemy.’’ ‘‘War is a business of positions.’’ ‘‘The basic approach of positioning is not to create something new and different,but to manipulate something that’s already up there.’’