Know Thy Enemy

It has been fashionable especially in the past decade to use military metaphors to describe business situations. Students of Sun Tzu or Clausewitz (famous Chinese and Prussian military theorists) have taken their philosophies and derived business principles from them, teaching us how to crush our competitor, to “render him incapable of further resistance.” (Clausewitz)

I think Sun Tzu and Clausewitz got it right. But I think those well-intentioned folks who write the business books got it wrong— they haven’t figured out who is the real enemy.

Winchester

Professional soldiers have their own vocabulary, and it is frequently inscrutable to outsiders. “Winchester” means out of ammunition, or almost out of ammunition. The term comes from the single-shot lever action of a Winchester firearm. When down to the last rounds of ammo, soldiers may fire single shots to conserve what little they have.

Have you had a struggle when you thought you were winchester? With your endurance flagging and with nothing left to contribute to the fight, have you felt like you were out of options?