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:

Qualifications

“When it comes to the qualifications we demand of our president, to start with, we need someone who will take the job seriously.” Michelle Obama. Don’t stop reading - this blog is not about Donald Trump. In the run up to the election of a new Labour Party Leader 4 years ago, the four candidates were invited by LBC radio to quiz each other. You can see the questions to Jeremy Corbyn here. There are two points of note. Firstly, when asked if he wants to be Prime Minister he ducks the question several times, instead referring to the ideological changes he wants to make within the Labour Party. Secondly when asked about his qualifications and experience to be leader of a major political party his answer is objectively underwhelming – before being an MP, he says, he had been a local councillor for 10 years. I don’t think it is difficult to relate those answers in 2015 to the current divided state of the Labour Party.

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
award 2.jpg
award 1.jpg