How you prepare leading up to a key event or decision makes all the difference. A large part of your success is based on how well you position yourself. The book Art of War by Sun Tzu argues that, “Every war is won or lost before the battle begins,” and “positioning” in advance will allow you to be better prepared to win the war.

Five key points that will help you become effective at positioning are:

  1. Understand that your ability to defend yourself and to advance is based on your current position. To get where you want to go, you must start from where you are. Strive to see your position in terms of what is changing and what resources are available to you given your current position.
  2. Also, to understand your own position, you need to see yourself in the eyes of others. Use a range of different viewpoints to get perspective on your position.
  3. The environment is too large and complex to completely control.  You must learn how to recognize opportunities created by changes in the environment.
  4. Secure and consolidate the resources you have and use them effectively as a solid base for exploiting new opportunities when they occur.
  5. Know what you are up against, and anticipate your rivals’ moves.

Your success indicator: Your position advances closer to your big picture goal.