Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The other guy blinks

"The other guy blinks" is the title of a popular management classic written by Roger Enrico, then marketing guru at Pepsi, publicizing how Pepsi won the cola war.  Small guy winning big guy always attract good attention from the public.  Be it human confrontation or confrontation between animals, the stronger contender always tries to threaten a weaker contender with fearsome outward appearance.  And in the best of best world, the stronger one will win even without waging a war.  No wonder, when a weaker guy, against all odds (like despite "the unnerving eyes" of the stronger guy), challenges the bigger and stronger guy on equal ground, and, the best part of the story, wins!

What should be the strategy of a weaker guy?  Unfortunate for weaker folks like myself, there is no set formula. It is different for different situations.  As an educational case study, I highly recommend Enrico's book, as one good resource.  Needless to say, the worst strategy for the weaker guy is try to imitate what the stronger guy did: like looking at the stronger guy with "unnerving eyes" (surely a good way of asking for trouble for the weaker guy!)

Recently in Hong Kong there was a real life example of a weaker guy winning a stronger guy.  Not in physical fight, not in business warfare, but in televised public debate on a controversial subject of public interest: citizen education. The 15 years old high school student Huang ZhiFeng(黄之鋒) "KO" his opponent an experienced teacher, despite her authority and more imposing presence.  You will find the following video very interesting, if you can understand Cantonese.

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