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Element 11. Ambush Exposure > Practical Experience—This Deserves a Maximum Weig...

Practical Experience—This Deserves a Maximum Weight of 3

Several years ago, when I was running Overseas Investment Missions, we delivered to the Chinese Rail Ministry a proposal to equip all passenger trains and railroad infrastructure with new GSM (the European cell phone technology) wireless equipment. Manufacture was to occur in China and passengers and the Rail Ministry would share much of the same equipment and services. No other bidders were evident during the last day of the bidding. You can imagine our surprise when we learned that Motorola had won the bid with a used old fashioned analog system they imported from the United States. Among the many lessons we took home was the knowledge that you can be ambushed by well-heeled competitors who remain out of sight until it is too late.

The possibility of ambush is one of many reasons you must build a powerful, focused, high-velocity launch. You must deflect the challenge. You can normally forecast the specific direction from which the ambush will come often by examining who or what is sitting 180° away from your field of view or expectation. Ordinarily, there should never be an ambush that is a surprise. I call this “McKnight’s Rule of 180°.” If there is going to be trouble, keep your eye on what is happening behind you. Conversely. if you are defeating a competitor, work your hardest 180° from his or her field of view.


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