Lest We Forget: The Lessons We Must Learn From War

  • by kaibizzen
  • Apr 22, 2020
  • Blog

On the 25th April 1915, Australian and New Zealand forces entered the front line battle for its allies against the enemy of the 1st World War. 

Casualties were horrendous and many young men, our grandfathers and great grandfathers, sacrificed their lives so that we, their descendants, can enjoy the lifestyle we enjoy today. 

The ANZAC spirit was born and every year we honour all those who have fought for our freedom in every war since that time.  

In his poem, For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon penned the words  

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them. 

Today, 105 years later, every one of us is on the front line of another war. 

It’s my belief you and I were BORN to be here, at this time, at this specific moment in history.   

The war of our lifetime is not one of military might and firepower. 

Our war is biological, social, mental and economic.   

Our frontline is not one of face-to-face combat with guns and cannons, but one of fear, anxiety, hopelessness and helplessness.   

In another 105 years’ time, will our grandchildren and great grandchildren honour us for the part we played in winning our war? 

For me, how I show up today and every day through this battle, will be part of my legacy.   

As a business coach and mentor, I’m witness to others’ fear, anxiety, hopelessness and helplessness.  Honestly, I too, in moments, am experiencing those same emotions myself.   

As I wrote about in a previous blog, my strategy is to acknowledge what I’m feeling and then make the choice to rise above those feelings. 

In my daily battles, I see myself as both a General and a soldier. I’m a General because I’m a leader of people, whether that be my family, my team, or my clients.  I’m a soldier because I am also in the trenches battling with my own emotions and feelings.  

So, I lean on the wisdom of two great warriors of their time make the most out of my own situation and to help my clients make the most out of theirs.   

The Wisdom of Sun Tzu 

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China (544-496BC). Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. 

1. In the midst of chaos there is also opportunity 

Like no other time in our lifetime we are facing a faster rate of change than we’ve ever faced before.  That change is impacting us physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, logistically and tactically.  We are being called to take the right actions, very quickly.  We are being called to be comfortable being uncomfortable.   

Despite this chaos and change, opportunities abound.  Unfortunately, too many people are wanting things to return to normal, rather than determining what part of their historical normal they really want to return to.   

The opportunity arises for us as business owners to review what we do, review our message, review our processes for delivery and review the team we have that will help us drive our business forward into the new economy. 

2. The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. 

There is no doubt that at the end of this, across every industry, there are going to be businesses that, like the phoenix will rise from the ashes. Sadly, there are those who will simply be ashes.   

Every day, I’m talking to each of our clients, reminding them to re-commit, every minute if necessary, to being those that not only survive, but thrive.   

No matter the external circumstances, it is a choice.  Which choice are you making?   

Then decide how ready you are to do what you have to do so you arise triumphant.  This likely means what you’ve done before will need to change.  It means you are going to have to learn new ways of being and doing.  It means you are going to have to enlist the right help, surround yourself with the best business advisory team, including but not limited to accountant, bookkeeper, coach and mentor.  No General went to war without a great team of people committed to their strategy and cause.  Similarly only a fool believes they will survive this war on their own.   

Finally, decide now you will never be defeated.  Allow the battle song of victory to permeate every essence of your being. 

3. Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons; they will follow you into the deepest valley. 

As well as the best advisory team, your also need THE BEST team working for you in your business. 

What are you doing to prepare your team for battle?  Do they have what it takes?  Are they going to help you succeed? 

 After looking after yourself, your number one focus is to look after them.   

The Wisdom Of Stormin’ Norman

Norman Schwarzkopf, known by many as “Stormin’ Norman”, rose through the ranks of the US army, eventually becoming a four-star General.  Schwarzkopf commanded Operation Desert Storm, successfully driving Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991. 

1. Any soldier worth his salt should be anti war; and still there are things worth fighting for. 

You went into your business because you had dreams of what you wanted to do, and the value you wanted to add to your clients.  You also had dreams of what you wanted for yourself and the people who mean the most to you. 

I firmly maintain that being the owner of a business is the best (and ONLY) way to secure financial wealth and to be in control of your own destiny.   

“Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs”.

Farrah Gray, American businessman, investor, author, columnist, and motivational speaker

What you want is worth fighting this war for.   

What is most important to you?   

How prepared are you to win the war, so that you can achieve it? 

2. The truth of matter is that you always know the right thing to do.  The hard part is doing it. 

In nearly 17 years of coaching and mentoring business owners, it is very common, when we start working with someone, to be told “I’ve not learned anything new. I knew I should be doing that”.  My response always is “Sure, you know it… But have you done it?”.   

Most of us know mentally what we need to be doing.  My job, as your coach, is shift you from merely knowing what to do, to actually doing it.  

To know and not to do, is not to know.”

Zen Proverb

As a business owner you know what you want to achieve, you know which of your team members are going to help you achieve that, and you know what you want to be known for.   

You’ve known that for a long time.   

Something is holding you back from doing it.   

The opportunity now is to engage our services to help you uncover what’s holding you back.   

Do you want to be the ashes or the phoenix? 

3. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle. 

Many business owners tell me that being a business owner is a very lonely journey.  Your family, your team of employees do not have the desire or ability to listen to the challenges you face. 

So, on your own, without an A-grade team around you, the business journey can indeed feel very isolating. 

On a minute by minute basis the General in the army is “sweating” behind the scenes, reading what is going on in the battle.  They are required to make quick, but right, decisions.  They are required to communicate clearly, keep in touch and continually adapt.  They have to make very hard choices.  They spend many waking hours and sleepless nights. 

Now more than ever you need someone to assist you to be the Four-Star General for your soldiers.  You need someone to bounce ideas off, force you to make the hard choices, teach you to lead your people and hold you accountable to do them all. 

Stormin’ Norman reminds us the more we do this, the less blood we will shed as we go into war. 

We are here to help you step up and be the leader your business, your team, and your family need you to be. To know more about how we can support you, reach out. We’d love to help you reap the rewards of years of effort for you and your family.  

02 Oct

Panel Discussion

Tuesday, 6:30pm Quest Cannon Hill

What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.



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