Know Your Enemy

Published: Apr 10 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese Military tactician said “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”

I was reminded of this famous quote when I read a review of Robert Lindsay’s new play, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, in which Lindsay talked about his political past.

For people of my generation, Lindsay came to prominence in his breakthrough role as a hapless Marxist in the TV sitcom Citizen Smith. A much better show in my view than the frankly terrible My Family, which ran for an astonishing 11 years!!!

Anyway, Lindsay was notoriously left wing and was said to have a chip firmly on his shoulder performing lots of political theatre. He was doing the play Becket on stage when Margaret Thatcher was in the audience. After the show she sent word that she would like to take Lindsay out for dinner. Lindsay said no. He was not a big fan and refused to meet her, let alone eat with her.

Lindsay told this story to his father who was a fervent Derbyshire Trade Unionist, who asked him why he had said no.

Lindsay said because of her politics. His father said “well that doesn’t affect your appetite does it?”, and added, “What the bloody hell have you done? You could have got to know her, find out what she is really like!”

Lindsay realized then what a wise man his father was.

The real problem with conflict is often that we fail to give any time to the other side’s point of view or avoid the other party and hope that either they go away or change to our view by the power of our persuasive argument.

Time that could be spent positively or constructively, being creative and looking for solutions that allow both sides to be satisfied, is spent in anger, defence and revenge. Scheming replaces creative thought.

Of course in order to create solutions that both parties can live with relies on us engaging with our opponents.

Otherwise your greatest enemy could just be yourself.

Alan Smith


SHARE

Alan Smith

About the author:

Alan Smith
My background is marketing and advertising. After graduating in Economics I entered the agency world to become, at 28, MD of London's largest independent below-the-line marketing provider.

Read more about Alan Smith

More posts by Alan Smith

Latest Blog:

Collaborating with the Enemy

Theresa May’s speech on Tuesday last week urging her political enemies to ‘contribute and not just criticise’ was met by a barrage of exactly the criticism she was asking them to eliminate. A Labour spokesperson said that it showed that the Conservatives had completely run out of ideas and were now reduced to begging, and the Scottish Nationalists line was that if she was serious about collaboration, particularly on Brexit, then she should have offered the SNP a seat at the Brexit negotiations, as they have been demanding for the last year.

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork UK Limited
7 Fortrose St
Glasgow
G11 5NU
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1413573989
info@scotwork.com
Follow us
Scotwork 21092 - Training Course.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png