Saturday, July 20, 2013
Throwing Knives at Leaves
Building strategy and skills is a continual process, always refining and improving, preparing for the next challenge during good times or bad. Akiro Kurosawa's classic film Yohimbo gives a powerful illustration of this idea when the principal character Sanjuro finds himself badly injured and in need of time to recover. After managing to get himself to a gazebo where he can rest, Sanjuro waits patiently for his wounds to heal, passing the time by throwing his knife at the leaves which blow errantly into the open structure. Many days pass and Sanjuro slowly recovers, all the time throwing his knife across the gazebo at the blowing leaves. Eventually he is well enough to leave and in the climatic scene of the film Sanjuro, armed only with his sword and knife, faces a gang of gun-toting bandits. The bandit leader raises his gun to fire on the seemingly easy target.......and receives an expertly thrown knife clean through his gun hand.
Sanjuro demonstrates the practical application of a key element of the art of impact - even while injured, he is building the strategy and skills that will be needed to prevail. It's the same for all of us every day, personally, professionally, on both individual and group levels. To make an impact requires continual movement and improvement, increasing our grip--enhancing awareness of the current situation and arising opportunities, threats--and building strategy to meet this emerging landscape. This enables effective engagement with life's challenges, to get results with one clean shot rather than being embroiled in protracted combat.