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Strategic Thinking

Real change and organizational improvement only occurs with repetition over a number of weeks.
Organizations are not static and changes such as new rules and regulations, problematic customer requests, or software upgrades if not communicated well can produce uncertainty and lead to disengagement. In these and related circumstances organizations are asked to adapt, perform and influence most often without providing clear roles and responsibilities, update processes and training.
To understand where the “disconnects” are, JMD Systemics uses assessments to pinpoint areas for improvement and help to determine your best possible path forward.
Real change and organizational improvement only occurs with repetition  over a number of weeks. Contact us to discuss how our organizational solutions are designed to provide you and your teams with a clear roadmap to help you develop plans, processes and grow your business.

JMD

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JMD SystemicsA division of King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation

JMD Systemics is a premier, full-service crisis management and communications firm serving business owners, corporations, businesses, non-profit organizations, individuals and governmental clients  worldwide.​
Headquartered in Bath, Ontario, our firm’s principal has over forty years of field experience providing crisis management, strategic communications, public affairs and public relations counsel to clients facing a broad spectrum of issues and daily challenges

How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life

  “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Many spend all their time managing crises.

Their life is basically spent putting out one proverbial fire after another. At the end of the day they feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet cannot point to anything they accomplished of real significance. They confuse the urgent with the important.

The Difference Between Urgent and Important

An “Urgent” task is one that requires your immediate attention. These are the tasks that shout “Do It Now!” Urgent tasks put you in a reactive mode, a defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly focused mindset.

An “Important” task is something that is to be done that contributes to your long-term mission, values, and goals. While they may sometimes be, typically, important tasks are not urgent. When you focus on important activities you operate in a responsive mode that helps you remain calm, rational, and open to new opportunities.

As a result of all these modern stimulus-producing technologies such as 24-hour News, Twitter, Facebook, social media and text messaging technologies process all information as equally urgent and pressing, you tend to believe that all urgent activities are important. These modern news and social media stimulus-producing technologies constantly assault you with information that only heighten your deeply engrained mindset that is: to believe that all urgent activities are also important.

As a result, you are experiencing “present shock”, a condition in which “you live in a continuous, always-on ‘Now!!’” and lose your sense of long-term narrative and direction. In such a state, it is easy to lose sight of the distinction between the truly important and the merely urgent and the consequences of this priority-blindness are both personal and societal. In your own lives, you suffer from burnout and stagnation and, on a societal level, we are unable to solve the truly important problems of our time.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Dwight Eisenhower lived one of the most productive lives you can imagine.

Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. During his time in office, he launched programs that directly led to the development of the Interstate Highway System, the launch of the internet (DARPA), the exploration of space (NASA), and the peaceful use of alternative energy sources (Atomic Energy Act).

Before becoming president, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army. He served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, and was responsible for planning and executing invasions of North Africa, France, and Germany. Along the way, he served as President of Columbia University, became the first Supreme Commander of NATO, and somehow found time to pursue hobbies like golfing and oil painting.

Eisenhower had this incredible ability to sustain his productivity for weeks, months and decades. His most famous productivity strategy is known as “The Eisenhower Box” or “The Eisenhower Matrix”, a simple decision-making tool that you can use right now to empower yourself and make real progress on your life.

The matrix consists of a square divided into four boxes, or quadrants, labeled as follow:

1) Urgent/Important;

2) Not Urgent/Important;

3) Urgent/Not Important, and

4) Not Urgent/Not Important.

Quadrant 1: “Urgent and Important” Tasks

“Tasks that are both urgent and important require our immediate attention and also work towards fulfilling our long-term goals and missions in life.”

This is the “Do It Now!” box

“Urgent and Important” tasks typically consist of crises, problems, or deadlines. A few specific examples of Urgent and Important tasks would be:

  • Certain emails such as a job offer, an email for a new business opportunity that requires immediate action, etc.;
  • A term paper deadline;
  • A Tax deadline;
  • A member of your family in an hospital ICU;
  • Your car engine giving out;
  • Household chores;
  • A heart attack and ending up in the hospital;
  • A call from your kid’s principal saying you need to come in for a meeting about his behavior.

With a bit of planning and organization, many of these Quadrant 1 tasks can be made more efficient or even eliminated outright. For example, instead of waiting until the last minute to work on your term paper, thus turning it into an urgent task, you could schedule your time so that you will be done with your paper a week in advance. Or, instead of waiting for something in your house to need fixing or fall apart, you can implement and follow a schedule of regular maintenance.

While you will never be able to completely eliminate urgent and important tasks, with a bit of imagination and proactivity you can significantly reduce them by spending more time in Quadrant 2.

Quadrant 2: “Not Urgent but Important” Tasks

Tasks that are “Not Urgent bur Important” are these activities that do not have a pressing deadline, but nonetheless help you achieve your important personal, school, and work goals as well as help you fulfill your overall mission in life.

This is the “Schedule It!” box.

The “Not Urgent but Important” tasks are typically centered around strengthening relationships, planning for the future, and improving yourself.

A few specific examples of Not Urgent but Important Tasks would be:

  • Weekly planning;
  • Long-term planning;
  • Exercising;
  • Family time;
  • Taking a class to improve a skill;
  • Spending time with a rewarding hobby;
  • Car and home maintenance;
  • Creating a budget and savings plan.

Always seek to spend most of your time on “Not Urgent but Important” activities. They are the ones that will provide you lasting happiness, fulfillment and success. Unfortunately for many, there are two key challenges that will tend to keep you from investing enough time and energy into these activities:

  • First: “You don’t know what’s truly important to you.” If you do not have any idea what values and goals matter most to you, you obviously will not know what things you should be spending your time on to reach those aims! Instead, you will latch on to whatever stimuli and to-dos are most urgent.
  • Second: “Present bias.” For most of us, we are all inclined to focus on whatever is most pressing at the moment. Doing so is our default mode. It is hard to get motivated to do something when there is not a deadline pending over our head. Departing from this fallback position takes willpower and self-discipline. Cultivate these qualities. They hat do not come naturally. Do whatever you have to do to develop this mental toughness and discipline that you may be lacking of.

Because “Not Urgent but Important” activities are not pressing for your attention, you typically keep them forever on the back-burner of your lives and tell yourselves, “I will get to those things “Someday”. You even put off figuring out what is most important in your life and life in general.

But “Someday” will never come.

If you are waiting to do the important thinks until your schedule clears up, trust me when I say that it will never happen, that you are daydreaming. Whatever happens in your life, you will always feel about as busy as you are now, and if anything, life just gets busier as you get older.

To overcome our inherent present-bias that prevents us from focusing on “Not urgent and Important” activities, you must live your lives intentionally and proactively. You cannot run your life in default mode. You have to consciously decide, “I am going to make time for these things”.

Quadrant 3: “Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Urgent and Not Important” tasks are activities that require your attention now, but do not help you achieve your goals or fulfill your mission in life. Most “Urgent and Not Important” tasks are interruptions originating from other people and often involve helping them meet their own goals and fulfill their own priorities.

This is the “Delegate Me!” box.

Here are some specific examples of “Urgent and Not Important”  activities:

  • Most phone calls;
  • Most text messages;
  • Most emails, those that are not “Urgent and Important”;
  • Co-worker who comes by your desk during your prime working time to ask a favor;
  • Request from a former employee to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf;
  • Your mom drops in unannounced and wants your help with a chore.

Many people spend most of their time on “Urgent and Not Important” tasks, while thinking they are working on “Urgent and Important” tasks.

While “Urgent and Important” tasks may be important to others, they are not important to you. They’re not necessarily bad, but they need to be balanced with your “Not Urgent but Important” activities. Otherwise, you will end up feeling like you are getting a lot done from day-to-day, while eventually realizing that you’re not actually making any progress in your own long-term goals. This is the perfect recipe for personal frustration and resentment towards others.

The solution to this problem is simple: Become more assertive and start to politely but firmly say “No!” to most requests.

Quadrant 4: “Not Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Not Urgent and Not Important” are these activities that, other than if they serve a specific professional or business purpose, unnecessary. These are the activities that are not helping you achieve or resolve anything. They are neither pressing nor do they help you achieve long-term goals or fulfill your mission in live. They are primarily, simply and utterly, mainly distractions.

This is the “Do Me later!”, the “Do Not Do It!” box.

Specific examples of such mostly useless tasks include:

  • Watching TV;
  • Mindlessly surfing the web;
  • Playing video games;
  • Scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram;
  • Gambling;
  • Shopping sprees.

If we were to conduct a time audit on ourselves, most of us would find that we spend an inordinate amount of time on “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities.

As a pragmatist, I do not think you need to eliminate “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities altogether from your life. After a particularly hectic and busy day, randomly browsing the internet or watching a favorite TV show for a half hour is exactly what my brain needs to decompress.

Instead of aiming to completely rid yourself of “Not Urgent and Not Important” tasks, try to only 5% or less of your waking hours on them.

Be Like Ike; Spend More Time on Important Tasks

In our present shock world, the ability to filter the signal from the noise, or distinguish between what is urgent and what is truly important, is an essential skill to develop. When faced with a decision, stop and ask yourself, “Am I doing this because it is important or am I doing it because it is merely urgent?”

As you will spend most of your time working on “Not Urgent but Important tasks”, you will feel a renewed sense of calm, control, and composure in your life. You will feel like you are making real progress. By investing your time in “Not Urgent but Important” planning/organizing activities, you will prevent and eliminate many of the crises and problems of “Urgent and Important” tasks, balance the requests of “Urgent and Not Important” tasks with your own needs, and truly enjoy the veg-outs of “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities, knowing that you have earned the rest. By making “Not Urgent but Important” tasks your top priority, no matter the emergency, annoyance, or deadline you will be hit with, you will have the mental, emotional, and physical wherewithal to respond positively, rather than react defensively.

JMD

Transition & Reputation Management

Office: 613.449.3278

Skype: jmdlive

Web: www.jmdsystemics.com

  1. J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

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The real message is that people need to get more engaged in planning what they want their future to look like.

The magic number for retirement savings in Canada is $756,000 and, while that is the average amount Canadians believe they need to save for retirement, up to 90 per cent do not have a formal plan on how to get there.

A majority of Canadians, 53 per cent, are not sure whether they are saving enough during their work years. 37 per cent are not even thinking about retirement, pretexting they just cannot save.

This situation is even worse for women: only 22 per cent have a formal retirement plan or even have a good idea of how much income they will need, versus 32 per cent of men. By age fifty-five, 43 per cent of women and 27 per cent of men lack a retirement and transition plan. The real message buried in these statistics is that people need to get more engaged in planning what they want their future to look like.

There is no longer a magic age 65 or 55 when we are all going to quit work cold turkey and do something completely different. We are living longer, and a prosperous middle-class is realizing that retirement is about the journey, not the destination.

The same is to be said about all business owners. The average organization has undergone five enterprise changes in the past three years and 73 per cent of organizations expect more change initiatives in the next few years. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to implement change effectively. In fact, only a third of change efforts are clear successes, 16 per cent show mixed results, and half of them are clear failures.

Today, people of all ages, men and women, all business owners and all business organizations need to get more engaged in planning what they want their future to look like. The problem: most people are wearing to many hats and are overwhelmed with daily responsibilities and accountabilities so that by age 55 or 65 fewer people can afford to retire to enjoy what could have been their preferred future.

You are looking forward to maximize your assets, your business is growing fast and you need to adapt, you are thinking about retirement, SSTM, in collaboration with JMD Systemics and Succession Transition Strategies, helps you to succeed with the challenging process of business and personal transition.

Let us help you maximize your assets and secure the best possible future:

FOR YOU, YOUR WAY.

We Bring the Experts to the Table

JMD

J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Follow JMDlive on Twitter, Facebook, JMDlive.com, The Futurist Daily News, JMDsystemics.com, SSTM.solutions and TumblrWarrior For Common Sense

 

Book a FREE 15 minutes Skype Consultation with JMDlive 

EMPOWERING YOURSELF Has Nothing To Do With HAVING time. It Is Everything About MAKING Time.

Get your priorities straight!

How are you supposed to know the right path when you have no idea where you want to go or what you want to do?

Setting goals that are important to you is the first step to getting your priorities straight. Once you know what you really want to achieve, it is really easy to prioritize everything in your life and the only thing you ever need to ask yourself before considering doing anything is: “How is this helping me achieve my goals?”

Starting your day checking your emails or chatting at the coffee machine will make it hard for you to gather the focus and motivation you need to tackle your most important tasks and projects at hand later in the day.

It does not matter WHEN you wake up. What matters is what you do when you wake up, what you do with the first two to three hours of your day. Putting in the work towards your goals will help you win the day early.

Postponing your most important tasks until later in the day will dramatically increase the likelihood of not getting them done at all.

JMD

Michael Dennis is a former Corporate and Business Law Attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense & Free Speech helping you achieve greatness.

Follow JMDlive on:

Twitter, Facebook, JMDlive.com, The Futurist Daily News, JMDsystemics.com, Bunkumless.com, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Book a FREE 15 minutes Skype Consultation with JMDlive

 

Get Your Priorities Straight!

How on earth are you supposed to know the right path when you have no idea where you want to go or what you want to do?

Setting goals that are important to you is the first step to getting your priorities straight. Once you know what you really want to achieve, it is really easy to prioritize everything in your life and the only thing you ever need to ask yourself before considering doing anything is: “How is this helping me achieve my goals?”

If you say “YES” to everything, you don’t have any priorities. You get distracted and will never achieve any of your life goals. If you say “YES” to the wrong things, you go against your life priorities.

Saying “NO” over and over again to everything that is distracting you from your life aligned priorities is the only way to empower yourself and entitle you to live the life of your dreams, to live your preferred future.

Obvious instant-gratification activities like sitting in front of the TV set, partying for the sake of partying, unrelated goals meetings, calls, articles or online courses that will never help you achieve your goals are to be barred from your agenda or “To Do” list.

Starting your day checking your emails or chatting at the coffee machine will make it hard for you to gather the focus and motivation you need to tackle your most important tasks and projects at hand later in the day.

It does not matter WHEN you wake up. What matters is what you do when you wake up, what you do with the first two to three hours of your day. Putting in the work towards your goals will help you win the day early.

Postponing your most important tasks until later in the day will dramatically increase the likelihood of not getting them done at all.

JMD

J. Michael Dennis is a former Corporate and Business Law Attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense & Free Speech helping you achieve greatness.

Follow JMDlive on:

Twitter, Facebook, JMDlive.com, The Futurist Daily News, JMDsystemics.com, Bunkumless.com, Pinterest and Tumblr.

FREE Consultation:

Book a FREE 15 minutes Skype Consultation with JMDlive

 

increase-your-income

Growing your business doesn’t always mean that you have to increase your expenses.

More often than not you already have everything you need to take your business and company to the next level.

The tricky part is finding and unveiling your unknown resources and figuring out where to allocate them for maximum impact.

Maximizing your profits is simply a matter of being smart about your resources.

This is the challenge that inspired me to create Bunkumless.com, a new corporate, business and entrepreneurial platform that shows you exactly where you may be leaking money, and where there is room for improvement.

Need a fast overview of how things are going?

Check my Free Introduction Offer. There’s no pitch. Nothing to buy. It’s pure content. I am simply giving you free access to a Skype Consultation Service

This is your opportunity, your day-to-day ticket to keeping your finger on the pulse, enabling you to make informed decisions.

JMD

Owner of Bunkumless.com and King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation, JMD, a former attorney, is a Columnist for The Futurist Daily News and editor of the Social and Political Blog JMDlive.com  Follow JMD @ jmdlive

Free Consultation

 

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Profitability

“Owning Your Destiny” is an incredibly powerful concept anywhere else but in the world of startups.”

Instead of focusing solely on growth, chart a path to profitability

As a startup, rather than buying into the idea that you have to use your first decade to build your audience, collect your data, or lock in your customer, figure out how to make money from day one.

Building a “Real Business” from the beginning

Real businesses make products and sell them for a profit. Real businesses provide services for a profit.

Real businesses focus on customer’s acquisition, revenue and profitability, not investors, valuations and the next fundable milestone.

Real businesses prioritize their customer’s needs over their customer’s eyeballs. They have a functioning business model, not a believable financial model.

Real businesses want to stay in business, not run for the exit

Real businesses create their own source of funding and do not have to ask anyone for permission to exist.

Scaling a business through happy customers and increasing revenues and profitability is no harder than breaking the addiction of spending money.

Most startups bleed red, real businesses bleed black. Stop the Bunkum, stop the nonsense and look for a profitable customer now.

It is up to you to make it happen now!

JMD

Owner of Bunkumless.com and King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation, JMD, a former attorney, is a Columnist for The Futurist Daily News and editor of the Social and Political Blog JMDlive.com  Follow JMD @ jmdlive

knowledge

“Knowledge, unless you apply it, does not, and will never make you more efficient, influential, powerful or successful.”

Today, thanks to the instant access to the internet, everyone can now study and learn from home. The tremendous quantity of information available online provide anyone with the best ever opportunity to broaden his knowledge in every sphere of activity one can imagine.

For who is starting a new project or new business, the magnitude and quality of information available online literally invites the new entrepreneur, before anything else, to gather as much intelligence as possible related to his undertaking. Ultimately, delaying all productive action, the new entrepreneur is ending up trying to be everywhere, reading and trying to do everything that is suggested or recommended by the so-called pundits.

Reading everything you can get your hands on, listening to every single podcast you can download, taking every online course you can afford, learning how to write the best possible resume; how to land the job of your dreams; how to launch a successful business or new product; how to create the greatest blog and website; how to write and publish a new book is not going to help you whatsoever. Ultimately, doing everything except taking action, you do not start or achieve anything. All those activities do not and will never take you anywhere close to whatever you wish to accomplish.

The key to power, greater achievement and success is not excessive expertise, but the ability to use it. Knowledge is absolutely worthless unless it is applied. The truth is that no matter how extensive your knowledge, there will always be obstacles and unexpected circumstances that you will have to face. There will always be issues that never have been described or covered in any book. And, one day or another, you will be ending up having to deal with situations no one ever has met before. These are the days where you will have to show some initiative and creativity, having to look for solutions and make decisions that no one probably has ever thought of.

While constantly looking for new sources of information and content, nothing is being done. Thanks to the Internet, learning has now become a major social trend and major form of procrastination. Constant researching, learning, planning, thinking, rethinking and visualization will not accomplish anything other than letting you spinning in your tracks and leaving you stranded in the place you are now. You will never start, even less accomplish or finish, anything. Only actions will drive you where you wish or want to be.

My point is that for anyone that have read even only these three books: “The Bible”, “The Prince” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, there is no need for further learning. You already have and know everything you need to know to live the life of your dreams and achieve power and success. There is nothing more you need to learn in order to take the first step. Stop reading everything that has been written, stop listening to everyone that has something to say.

Everything has been written, everything has been said centuries ago. There is nothing new under the sun. Read “The Bible”, read “The Prince”, read Machiavelli, read “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, read Carnegie, maybe Zig Ziegler and stop right there. Start writing your own book, the book of your own life. Take action now, turn your unstoppable procrastination into unstoppable action and start learning from your own experience.

JMD

Owner of Bunkumless.com and King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation, JMD, a former attorney, is a Columnist for The Futurist Daily News and editor of the Social and Political Blog JMDlive.com  Follow JMD @ jmdlive

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sustainability

Consumers want to feel good about the companies they buy from. What is your company doing to help that happen?

Informed consumers want more than the latest fashions, technologies and entertainment options: They are also concerned about environmental issues, fair trade and social equality. They want to purchase their goods and services from companies responsive to these issues.

This connection between economic and social choices provides entrepreneurs with great marketing opportunities, and there are at least five reasons why adding a focus on sustainability or other social issues will help you expand your customer base.

1. Rational versus emotional

People believe their purchasing decisions are based on rational choices, but most consumers decide what to buy and whom to buy it from, based on their emotions. Hot-button issues such as deforestation or hunger in the developing world can become marketing tools Most consumers seek an emotional connection and want to feel good about how they spend their money. Marketing the actions your company takes to respond to selected hot-button issues provides that feel-good experience for your customers, which can translate into an emotional connection with your business.

2. Cause-based spending

Some consumers are passionate about various causes. These people choose to purchase products from companies that support their causes or oppose the same things they do, such as animal cruelty and genetically modified foods. Cause-based spending can have a significant impact on small businesses. When faced with the option of purchasing two products of equal quality, 90 percent of U.S. shoppers choose to purchase the cause-branded product or buy from a cause-branded company.

3. Hot-button topics

These topics often arise from a trending news story, health issue or social challenge, and you can use these issues to effectively and tactfully promote your products or services. You can capitalize on public policy issues by using marketing tools that promote your commitment in a variety of ways. Sustainable practices, for example, save you money, and you can pass those savings along to customers.

3. Education as entertainment

Marketing to environmental or social causes can also take the form of entertainment. Education as entertainment can be done with a simple but heartfelt video explaining why your company supports a particular cause and specifically how people who shop with you are participating in the process.

5. Social media trends

Whether it’s through Instagram or Twitter, trending topics on social media can help create targeted marketing and sales campaigns. You can integrate these issues with your current social media campaigns, such as reveal-based content and quizzes to increase target audience engagement. Use your platforms to inform, educate and connect with like-minded consumers on the causes or issues you support.

Bottom line

Cause-based marketing is an excellent opportunity to present your environmental, sustainable actions or social passion with your target audience. Your efforts will promote the issues you care about and your business. People who support specific causes are more likely to spend their money at businesses that share their interests. Use social media and other opportunities to educate and entertain people about your cause as well as your products and services.

JMD

Owner of Bunkumless.com and King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation, JMD, a former attorney, is a Columnist for The Futurist Daily News and editor of the Social and Political Blog JMDlive.com  Follow JMD @ jmdlive

For the full text of this article: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/287301

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composure

In adversity, always maintain your composure and dignity

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies and rivals angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your rivals and enemies off-balance: Find their chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.

If possible, no animosity should be felt for anyone. To speak angrily to a person, to show your hatred by what you say or by the way you look, is an unnecessary, dangerous, foolish, ridiculous, vulgar proceeding. Anger or hatred should never be shown otherwise than in what you do; and feelings will be all the more effective in action, in so far as you avoid the exhibition of them in any other way.

Maintain composure and dignity

What a pity it is to see a great man display such bad manners. This is the problem with the angry response. At first it may strike fear and terror, but only in some, and as the days pass and the storm clears, other responses emerge, embarrassment and uneasiness about the shouter’s capacity for going out of control, and resentment of what has been said. Losing your temper, you always make unfair and exaggerated accusations.

To show your frustration is to show that you have lost your power to shape events; it is the helpless action of the child who resorts to a hysterical fit to get his way. The successful and powerful never reveal this kind of weakness. Tantrums neither intimidate nor inspire loyalty. They only create doubts and uneasiness about your power. Exposing your weakness, these stormy eruptions often herald a fall.

Maintain control

You want to expose your rivals and enemies, draw them out, get under their skin and push them into action before they are ready. Always see several moves ahead, think everything out ahead making sure the actions of your rivals and enemies will come to nothing, and that you can use these actions against them.

When the waters are still, your opponents have the time and space to plot actions that they will initiate and control. So, stir the waters, force the fish to the surface, get your rivals and enemies to act before they are ready, steal the initiative. The best way to do this is to play on uncontrollable emotions such as pride, vanity, love and hate. The angrier your enemies and rivals become, the less control they have.

Avoid looking ridiculous

Never launch an army out of anger, never start a war out of wrath; angry people usually end up looking ridiculous, for their response seems out of proportion to what occasioned it. They have taken things too seriously, exaggerating the hurt or insult that has been done to them. They are so sensitive to slight that it becomes comical how much they take personally. More comical still is their belief that their outbursts signify power. Understand this: Petulance is not power; it is a sign of helplessness. People may temporarily be cowed by your tantrums, but in the end, they lose respect for you. They also realize they can easily undermine you, that they can easily undermine anyone with so little self-control.

The answer, however, is not to repress our angry or emotional responses. For repression drains us of energy and pushes us into strange behavior. Instead we have to change our perspective: We have to realize that nothing in the social realm, and in the game of success and power, is personal. If a person explodes with anger at you, you must remind yourself that it is not exclusively directed at you. The cause is much larger, goes way back in time, involves dozens of prior hurts, and is actually not worth the bother to understand. Instead of seeing it as a personal grudge, look at the emotional outburst as a disguised power move, and attempt to control or punish you cloaked in the form of hurt feelings and anger.

This shift of perspective will let you play the game of success and power with more clarity and energy. Instead of ever reacting, and becoming ensnared in people’s emotions, you will turn their loss of control to your advantage: You keep your head while they are losing theirs.

Anger only cuts off our options, and the powerful and successful cannot thrive without options. Once you train yourself not to take matters personally, and to control your emotional responses, you will have placed yourself in a position of tremendous power: Now you can play with emotional responses of other people. Stir the insecure into action by impugning their manhood, and by dangling the prospect of an easy victory before their faces. Reveal an apparent weakness to lure your enemies and rivals into action. Then you can beat them with ease. With the arrogant too you can appear weaker than you are, taunting them into a rash action.

In the face of a hot-headed enemy or rival, an excellent response is often no response. Nothing is as infuriating as a man who keeps his cool while others are losing theirs. If it will work to your advantage to unsettle people, affect the aristocratic, bored pose, neither mocking nor triumphant but simply indifferent. This will light their fuse. When they embarrass themselves with a temper tantrum, you will have gained several victories, one of them being that in the face of their childishness you have maintained your dignity and composure.

Study the enemy beforehand

When playing with people’s emotions you have to be careful. Study the enemy beforehand: Some fish are best left at the bottom of the pond. You can bait the powerful and get them to commit and divide their forces, but test the waters first. Find the gap in their strength. If there is no gap, if they are impossibly strong, you have nothing to gain and everything to lose by provoking them. Choose carefully whom you bait, and never stir up the sharks.

Understand and remember: There are times when a well-timed burst of anger can do you good, but your anger must be manufactured and under your control. Then you can determine exactly how and on whom it will fall. Never stir up reactions that will work against you in the long run. Use your thunderbolts rarely, to make them the more intimidating and meaningful. Whether purposefully staged or not, if your outburst come too often, they will lose their power.

JMD

Owner of Bunkumless.com and King Global Earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation, JMD, a former attorney, is a Columnist for The Futurist Daily News and editor of the Social and Political Blog JMDlive.com  Follow JMD @ jmdlive

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