“Never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake.”
This is a follow up to “when you start to suck, stop.”
If your enemy, or competition, is starting to suck, don’t interrupt.
Once again, similar to knowing when to stop being difficult, it is difficult to stop from, well, stopping someone, even an enemy, when they are sucking. Most people see it as an opportunity to shine and cannot wait to show that they don’t suck.
So this is about patience … oh … and, actually, lack of ego.
Let me go to the ego thing first.
We all like to look & sound smart (or skilled at something). “Opportunity to shine” is how I put it earlier. As soon as someone starts sucking we inherently see the opportunity to show that we don’t suck. And we want to rush in as quickly as possible to make the ‘I don’t suck’ statement (or make the point that would confirm to everyone around us that we don’t).
It’s difficult, but, wait. Yep. Wait. Rest your ego for a second (or a minute or whatever).
Your ego will have its opportunity.
“But, but, but” you say. Why wait (i.e., “won’t I miss my opportunity”)?
Well, oftentimes, timing is key because if you don’t rush, and pick the time correctly you get an added plus (beyond the non-suckedness) because people will also judge your character.
Oh. And earn some respect.
Everyone else in the room knows the other person is sucking. They also know you are not pointing it out (or making the other person look foolish).
Look. Invariably your actions and words are compared to ‘your enemy.’ And it becomes a reflection of who you are as a person from a character perspective.
And people recognize that. And they store it away for the future (because everyone knows they will suck at some point and they would prefer to be working/being with someone who is not going to leap at the opportunity to point it out).
So. That is the ego part.
Often we are in a rush to “do something” where patience is called for. Setting character to the side, I would like to remind people that mistakes are often like quicksand (corollary to sucking).
Not always but sometimes.
What that means is by having patience simply means let your enemy make as many and as much of a mistake as he/she is willing to make. Don’t interrupt the possible depth & breadth of the mistake. Let them get sucked into the quicksand as far as they are willing to go.
Patience permits you to assess the best opportunity:
do you just sit back and let your enemy drown in the quicksand (always a viable option)?
do you at some point, when the depth & breadth has been maximized (short of going under), you reach out and pull everyone out of the suckedness zone?
You win either way. But. You don’t have the win opportunity if you aren’t patient.
Because I opened with a Napoleon quote I would be remiss if I did not point out he was absolutely a master at permitting his enemy to suck for as long as it took to maximize his opportunity. I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out he won a shitload of battles.
So. Ponder. Never interrupt your enemy when he/she is making a mistake.
Yes. It is much much harder to do then you think.
Yes. It is much much easier to do the more practice you have.
Yes. It is an extremely effective way to get things done that you would like to get done.