How to Outthink, Outmaneuver, and Outperform Your Competitors: Lessons from the Masters of Strategy


Supplying you with a firm grasp of the roots of strategy, How to Outthink, Outmaneuver, and Outperform Your Competitors: Lessons from the Masters of Strategy explains how to develop the skills and strategies needed to compete in today’s volatile marketplace. It interweaves the classic works of the masters of strategy, such as Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, Mao Tse-tung, Niccolo Machiavelli, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and other renowned strategists.

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Supplying you with a firm grasp of the roots of strategy, How to Outthink, Outmaneuver, and Outperform Your Competitors: Lessons from the Masters of Strategy explains how to develop the skills and strategies needed to compete in today’s volatile marketplace. It interweaves the classic works of the masters of strategy, such as Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, Mao Tse-tung, Niccolo Machiavelli, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and other renowned strategists.

The collective insights of these legendary strategists span 2,500 of combative history and have survived meticulous analysis by scholars. Applied to current competitive business conditions, their time-tested rules and guidelines will prepare you to deal with such issues as: preventing competitors from disrupting your overall growth plans, protecting yourself from a rival’s take-over strategies, and strengthening long-term customer relationships.

Whether you operate as a multinational firm maneuvering for position in a global arena, or a regional business fighting an everyday battle for survival, the foundational principles provided can reinforce your understanding and practice of strategy. The book defines the historical origins of strategy and supplies timeless insight into how successful leaders have implemented comprehensive strategy plans. It also explains how to:

  • Maneuver out of risky competitive situations and into renewed market opportunities
  • Establish a defensible position in a hotly-contested market
  • Apply competitive business techniques to outperform your rivals
  • Align competitive strategies with your organization’s culture
  • Personalize a leadership style to maximize performance from your staff

The book includes three special features:

  1. Strategy Diagnostic Tool—A structured system to help you assess your firm’s competitiveness before committing valuable resources.
  2. Appraising Internal and External Conditions—A comprehensive checklist to analyze those key factors that can determine the success of your business plan.
  3. Strategy Action Plan—A tested format that includes step-by-step guidelines to develop a personalized business plan.

The lessons gleaned from military history and strategy can be indispensable in the everyday management of your people and resources. By tapping into the universal logic and historic lessons of strategy, you will fortify your ability to think like a master strategist and add greater precision to your decision-making—thereby allowing you to outthink, outmaneuver, and outperform your competition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466565401
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/29/2013
  • Pages: 301
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Norton Paley has brought his world-class experience and unique approach to business strategy to some of the global community's most respected organizations. Having launched his career with publishers McGraw-Hill and John Wiley & Sons, Paley founded Alexander-Norton Inc, bringing successful business techniques to clients around the globe including the international training organization Strategic Management Group, where he served as senior consultant.

Throughout his career Paley has trained business managers and their staff in the areas of planning and strategy development, raising the bar for achievement and forging new approaches to problem solving and competitive edge. His clients include:

  • American Express
  • IBM
  • Detroit Edison
  • Chrysler (Parts Division)
  • McDonnell-Douglas
  • Dow Chemical (Worldwide)
  • W.R. Grace
  • Cargill (Worldwide)
  • Chevron Chemical
  • Ralston-Purina
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • USG
  • Celanese
  • Hoechst
  • Mississippi Power

Paley has lectured in The Republic of China and Mexico and has presented training seminars throughout the Pacific Rim and Europe for Dow Chemical and Cargill. As a seminar leader at the American Management Association, he conducted competitive strategy, marketing management, and strategic planning programs for over 20 years.

Published books include:

  • The Marketing Strategy Desktop Guide, 2nd Edition
  • How to Develop A Strategic Marketing Plan
  • The Managers Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies, 3rd Edition
  • Marketing for the Nonmarketing Executive: An Integrated Management Resource Guide for the 21st Century
  • Successful Business Planning: Energizing Your Company's Potential
  • Manage To Win
  • Mastering the Rules of Competitive Strategy: A Resource Guide for Managers
  • Big Ideas for Small Businesses
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Table of Contents

Apply Strength against Weakness: Maneuver by Indirect Strategy
Maneuver by Indirect Strategy
Developing an Indirect Strategy
Define Your Strategic Goals
What Are Your Organization’s Distinctive Strengths or Areas of Expertise?
What Business Should Your Organization Be in over the Next Three to Five Years?
What Segments or Categories of Customers Will Your Company Serve?
What Additional Functions Are You Likely to Fulfill for Customers as You See the Market Evolve?
What New Technologies Will Your Firm Require to Satisfy Future Customer Needs?
What Changes Are Taking Place in Markets, Consumer Behavior, Competition, Environment, and the Economy That Are Likely to Impact Your Company?
Determine the Resources Needed to Achieve Your Goal
Gather Competitive Intelligence
Establish Security
Implement the Strategy
Develop a Post Strategy

Improve Chances for Securing a Competitive Lead: Act with Speed
Obstacles to Speed
Lack of Reliable Market Intelligence
Mediocre Leadership Stifles Timely and Significant Progress
A Manager’s Low Self-Esteem and Indecisiveness as Deep-Rooted Personality Traits
Lack of Courage to Go on the Offensive, Triggered by the Manager’s Innate Fear of Failure
Managers’ Lack of Confidence in Their Employees’ Discipline, Capabilities, and Skills
No Trust by Employees in Their Managers’ Abilities to Make Correct Decisions
Inadequate Support from Senior Management
Disagreement and Open Confrontations among Line Managers about Objectives, Priorities, and Strategies
A Highly Conservative and Plodding Corporate Culture Places a Drag on Speed
Lack of Urgency in Developing New Products to Deal with Short Product Lifecycles
Organizational Layers, Long Chains of Command, and Cumbersome Committees Prolong Deliberation and Foster Procrastination
Aggressive Competitors Can Cause Fear among Employees, Damage Morale, and Result in Lost Momentum
Complacency or Arrogance as a Prevailing Cultural Mindset
Speed in a Twenty-First-Century Global Setting

Secure a Competitive Advantage: Concentrate at a Decisive Point
Defining a Decisive Point or Segment
Identify a Decisive Point in a Market Segment
Classic Techniques for Selecting a Market Segment
Demographic Segmentation
Geographic Segmentation
Psychographic Segmentation
Product Attributes
Advanced Techniques for Selecting a Segment’s Decisive Point
Natural Markets
Leading-Edge Markets
Key Markets
Linked Markets
Central Markets
Challenging Markets
Difficult Markets
Encircled Markets

Create a Lifeline to Business Strategy: Employ Competitor Intelligence
Employing Agents
Native Agents
Inside Agents
Double Agents
Expendable Agents
Living Agents
Market Signals
Tools and Techniques of Competitive Intelligence
Sales Force
Customer Surveys
Published Data
Government Agencies
Industry Studies
On-Site Observations
Competitor Benchmarking

Maintain High Performance: Align Competitive Strategy with Your Company’s Culture
Qualities of High-Performing Business Cultures
Symbols and Rituals
Revitalize Your Company’s Culture

The Force Multiplier behind Your Business Strategy: Leadership
Strategic Direction and Policies
Self-Confidence and Leadership
Mastering Leadership Skills
Barriers to Effective Leadership
Employees Remain Deficient in Skills
Employees’ Negative Perception of Managers
Limited Support from Management
Conflicts Concerning Objectives, Priorities, and Strategies
A Ponderous Corporate Culture
Limited New Product Development
Unwieldy Committees That Initiate Delays
Pressure from Aggressive Competitors
Leadership in the Competitive World
Using Leadership as a Force Multiplier
Interpersonal Skills
Conceptual Skills
Technical Skills
Tactical Skills

Engage Heart, Mind, and Spirit: Create a Morale Advantage
Motivational Behavior
Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory
McGregor’s XY Theory
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Ouchi’s Theory Z
Morale Links to the Human Heart
Morale Links with Trust
Morale Leads to Unity
Morale Interfaces with Innovation
The Relationship between Morale and Technology
Morale Generates Momentum
Obstacles to Fostering Morale
Deficiency in Planning Skills
Lack of a Strategic Outlook
Absence of Creativity
Inadequate Self-Development
Minimal Self-Confidence
Inferior Communication Skills
Volatile Conduct
Creating a Morale Advantage

Turn Uncertain Market Situations into Fresh Opportunities: Move to the Offensive
Estimates and Calculations
Use a Diagnostic Tool
Use Reserves to Seize Opportunities
Assess Levels of Creativity and Innovation
Friction within the Company and from the Marketplace

Think like Strategists: Lessons from the Masters of Strategy
The Human Factor
Expand Your Employees’ Awareness
Recognize That Employees Harbor Ingrained Habits
Learn to Wait
Learn to Restrain Irritation
Look for the Good in Yourself and Your Employees
Managing Knowledge
Turn on Intuition

Strategy Diagnostic Tool
Appraising Internal and External Conditions
Strategy Action Plan

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