Kensei

Two Heavens in One

Two Heavens in One

In our country, it is the Way of the Warrior to wear them whether the reason is understood or not – Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings (translated by William Scott Wilson)

All samurai wore two swords. In fact the two swords are the symbol for the entire samurai social class. I’m sure there were many samurai that never questioned why there are two swords. Some may have questioned the purpose only to accept the conclusion that it has always been so. Then there is Miyamoto Musashi, the only samurai deserving of the title kensei, Japanese for sword saint.
He challenged tradition. He decided that both swords should be used. Instead of the traditional method of gripping one sword with both hands, he innovated by holding a sword in each hand. Thus allowing him to use both swords at a time.

When you put your life on the line, you want all your weapons to be of use. Your real intent should not be to die with weapons uselessly worn at your waist.  – Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings (translated by William Scott Wilson)

Don’t be like the other samurai who were blind to the fact that their greatest resource was at their tied at their waist. There is always untapped resources around you. Most often it’s the people.
Open your eyes. People are multifaceted. Everyone can offer insight drawn from different aspects of their life. Solutions to problems can often be found when someone on the team draws from their experience from the  rock climbing adventures over the weekend, the book they’ve been reading, or what they learned at the whiskey tasting event yesterday evening.
Be receptive to suggestions and breed an environment that doesn’t discourage risky ideas.

Unbridled enthusiasm for new, risky ideas is just as dangerous as a complacent attitude. Allow your workforce to pursue a variety of interests but also communicate extensively the purpose of this initiative. This will focus the combined processing power of your entire workforce and evoke inspiration in places you wouldn’t have imagined.

The Rhythm of All Things

The Way of the Sword

The Way of the Sword

There is a rhythm to everything, but particularly in the martial arts, if you do not train in its rhythm it is difficult to succeed. – Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings (translated by William Scott Wilson)

Rhythm in martial arts pertain to the flow of attacking and defending. There is a natural flow; you attack and your opponent attacks, then you defend, while your opponent is attacking. Give and receive. Advance and retreat. How do you get the upper hand though?
Study and observe the rhythm of your opponent. Do not react. Dictate.
Study how your opponent follows the rhythm of the duel. Then, purposefully give an opening to your opponent. Observe how they react to the change in rhythm. Then capitalize on their reaction.

It is the same in business. Study and learn what your competitor’s rhythm is. Study what their moves are in the past. Study what their reaction is to different stimuli. From this, you will learn what their pattern is; you will learn their rhythm. Take advantage of this knowledge. Either disrupt the rhythm or wait for the rhythm to be disrupted by an outside source. Preempt any reactions they will make according to their rhythm.