Nobody ever won a war by staying on the defensive. When you’re on the defensive, you willingly or unwillingly cede the advantage and the initiative to your opponent. In war this is the enemy, but in business, it can the competition or other stakeholders that don’t have the same objectives as you do and who are willing to interfere with your ability to achieve your aims, sometimes with great vigour and aggressiveness.

Sometimes you do have to cede ground and go on the defensive temporarily. This can be to rest, recover and regroup, or just to gain a temporary position from which to continue your advance.

There are four key points to seize and maintain the initiative so you can maintain offensive action:

  • Know what your objective is.
  • Manoeuvre from a position of strength against your opponent’s weaknesses.
  • Build on successes by preparing for breakthroughs and pouring forces into the breech when you have one.
  • Be relentless in pursuing the opposition and in pressing your advantage.

© 2012 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes permitted with full and proper attribution.

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