A few months ago I posted a blog titled, Every Winner Has Scars written by my good friend Phil Clemens (CEO of Clemens Family Corporation (i.e. Hatfield Meats). Phil writes a monthly email containing his “thought for the month” which he has generously allowed me to share with you on my blog.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, nicknamed the Desert Fox in World War II, knew a lot about engaging the enemy in a fight. His cunning nature earned him respect even with his enemies. Battles are fought to gain something and, as Rommel implied – if you can’t gain anything – why fight?
Business leaders could learn a great lesson from Rommel. Often battles are fought over things that have no real meaning and there is nothing to gain. Getting involved in a battle just because someone wants to fight isn’t a good reason to have a battle. Do you know what is worth fighting for and what isn’t? Do you know what there is to gain or lose before engaging in a battle?
Certainly there are things worth fighting for. Some that I can think of that are “no brainers” – your family, your faith, and your values, to mention a few. But, do you know what isn’t worth fighting for? Often these things include our preferences and things that in the long-term have little significance. We often use the excuse that we fight to maintain a principle, when in reality it is only to protect our pride.
Choose your battles carefully. Don’t fight over the wrong stuff, but vigorously battle for the things that matter. Rommel was right. That is why he was the Desert Fox. He knew when it was better to just step away – and when he had to fight. Choose wisely and only engage in battles that really mean something.