While the concept of strategy is often discussed in business terms, it actually has merit in almost every walk of life. The rigid nature of the curriculum means that it not a topic discussed in school, however, so many grow up with a core understanding of strategy or how it can help them to shape their professional and personal lives. More importantly, strategy can also help you to achieve your individual goals, as it provides a template for optimising focus and negating the elements of the world around that we are unable to control.
So, whether it’s to help out in that next business meeting, or to crush your opponents next time you play CoD – strategy is key! Let’s take a look at three of the most influential strategy books that are ideal for modern times.
How to Profit By one’s Enemies by Plutarch
This short essay is an underrated piece of work, but one that focuses on a single and important strategic lesson. More specifically, it explains how our enemies and the obstacles that stand in the way of attainment offer a genuine education, but that this can only prove beneficial if we are open to learning. This is often a principle that underpins strategic or social gaming, where you must use reason and understanding to gain something from a foe or overcome a barrier to success. You can play online strategy games with plarium.com to understand this more, but the key takeaway is to develop an open mind and cultivate a philosophy that welcomes these lessons rather than ignoring them.
Rules for Radicals, Reveille for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
Apparently, both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama studied Alinksy extensively as they plotted individual paths to power, as the author is a renowned pragmatist who is credited with creating the concept of community organisation. His greatest strength was being able to understand the systems that needed to be navigated in order to achieve power (such as government, for example), and subsequently using this knowledge to get exactly what was required. His book is an exercise in identifying, learning from and overcoming potential obstacles, and doing so in the shortest possible time frame.
The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the fall of New York by Robert Caro
Arguably, this is the single most definitive and comprehensive narrative of power ever shared. It maps out the career and achievements of city planner Robert Moses, who controlled the expansion of construction of the most influential city and financial district in the world. Discussing levers and the underlying importance of hidden influence, it can help readers to understand the darker side of strategy and how the ability to manipulate others in central to any successful strategy. After all, people can provide the greatest obstacle to your goals of attainment, and those who are able to influence their will and actions have the best possible chance of success.