NOVEMBER 2017 STATEMENT – Year 6, Month 6

“When you are thirsty, it is too late to think about digging a well.” – Japanese Proverb

During the industrial revolution, an entrepreneur solved problems of consumption. Today, the need has shifted to problems of storage.  And war has no place if we are to feed this need.

Peter Thiel once wrote how just as war cost the Montagues and Capulets their children, it cost Microsoft and Google their dominance: Apple came along and overtook them all.

In January 2013, Apple‘s market capitalization was $500 billion, while Google and Microsoft combined were worth $467 billion. Just three years before, Microsoft and Google were each more valuable than Apple.

War is a costly venture, and every entrepreneur or anyone at all must avoid it at all costs. I am not disregarding, however, the fact that it is tempting. Especially when you are well equipped, informed and connected. It is true that conflict is allegedly necessary, supposedly valiant, but ultimately destructive. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self, not being superior to another person.

VALIDATION

“Belief in yourself is more important than endless worries of what others think of you. Value yourself and others will value you. Validation is best that comes from within.” – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Dreams in a Time of War

In my previous month, I met a young lawyer from Ukraine that requested my mentorship, stating clearly that she wasn’t seeking validation or favors. She was beaming with passion on how she enjoyed our organization style and internal structures. We were doing productions at the Tonniez Media studios for an upcoming business series. We needed her on the team for legal purposes. My time with her confirmed my earlier beliefs regarding lawyers.

Every successful lawyer I have met craved stability and predictability whereas every game-changing entrepreneur I have encountered thrived on chaos. Chaos breeds life whereas order breeds habit. Real entrepreneurs don’t fear chaos as much as they dislike habit. Good lawyers, on the other hand, worry about facts but great lawyers worry about their opponents.

What lies in common? Entrepreneur, lawyer, accountant, politician, or anyone great learned not to seek validation from other parties, more than they do themselves. It’s an art worth mastering. Olena was no exception. She clearly didn’t need anyone’s validation, only mentorship. Because of that did I agree to the mentorship and coaching program.

MONEY

“They say money doesn’t bring happiness, but everyone still wants to prove it for themselves.” – Anonymous

We may remember when fifteen million gallons of partially treated wastewater suddenly disappeared from a storage lagoon in a water treatment facility. Just outside the small town of Sand Lake, Michigan, a 500- by -500 – foot pond disappeared into a sinkhole. The problem was that nobody knew where the wastewater went. The county spokesperson said among other things that, ‘ … It will depend on where it went before we can say what happened.’

The above sort of problem is different from having stage 4 brain tumor. Any problem that has provision for ‘depends on where, what, who, when or how’, and it can be described after any of these questions is asked is not that serious. In fact, it should be delegated. You can sleep with both eyes closed.

It is also obvious that things like health, spirituality, peace, joy, loyalty, and love in relationships aren’t for sale, in monetary terms. Problems like incurable diseases are the real problems because no amount of money can solve them, and its core solution can’t be expressed after any of above questions are asked. And these are the problems we should spend more time preventing. To remember that 99% of rat poison is pure wheat. It’s the 1% that kills.

STRATEGY

The THEME for this month’s statement is STRATEGY. I remember reading from Jason Hanson about Surveillance. Without years of painstaking surveillance work, Osama Bin Laden would never have been killed. The hunt for Osama Bin Laden (also known by his code name “Geronimo” involved interrogation of CIA detainees in secret prisons, eavesdropping on telephone calls and emails, the collection of 387 high-resolution and infrared images of the Abbottabad compound, installing spyware and tracking devices, a fleet of satellites collecting electronic signals over Pakistan, advanced drones, and even a team of CIA agents sequestered in a rented house to determine if Bin Laden was really there.

And on May 2, 2011, after using every surveillance tactic the U.S. government had, CIA director Leon Panetta was able to announce to the president and his advisers gathered in the situation room at the White House: “Geronimo EKIA.” Or, Osama Bin Laden-Enemy Killed in Action.

The above maybe strategy on a different dimension but the core principles are the same. Powerful people all have one thing in common. What is heard about them, is often deliberate. These people are good at losing battles to win wars, at diverting attention to other issues other than the core, setting up entire communication logs that can be tracked by anyone, their real ones secure. All information available is what they want to be available.

They believe that to keep something a secret, don’t say it. They test their networks and trusted circle, always playing 5 to 10 moves ahead, calculatively, every time, and do what my mentor calls ‘Scenario Planning’. That is why they are powerful. This month, I implore you to set a strategic and tactical atmosphere, or true power will flee from you.

Till next month, I remain yours truly,

Tonny Rutakirwa,

Chairman,

Tonniez Group Holdings,

Serving since 28th December 2008

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