Go To War With The Army You Have

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” — Donald Rumsfeld

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can be less precious. Let me explain…

Last year I flew across the country to see my largest customer at the time. At 5am the morning of the meeting, the contact cancelled on me. Later that day, I was eating lunch with another client, and told her about it.

“He sounds precious,” she said. “A lot of people here think they’re precious because they work in Silicon Valley. They’re just full of themselves.”

The guy didn’t care that I flew across the country to see HIM. Well, I showed up anyway, met another contact at the company and closed a $30k deal with them.

Then Covid hit and they stiffed us on the entire bill.

Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you…

Anyway, what she said always stood out to me as a reminder to remain humble and never let myself think I’m too precious for anyone.

Jocko Willink, in Extreme Ownership, talks about how anytime his commanding officer asked if his team needed anything, he’d say no.

“We’re good, Sir,” he’d say. This way, when they did actually need something, they got it every time. They weren’t too precious to do their jobs.

  • We may not always have ongoing support from other teams but if you were to ask most people for something, they’d likely drop everything to help you.
  • Other companies have more capabilities
  • They have more money
  • More resources
  • More opportunity for growth

The list goes on and on.

I DO IT TOO. I’ve punted on several initiatives this year because I was waiting for something to happen.

We’re in control of our lives and careers, no one else. THE WORLD DOESN’T WAIT FOR US.

It happens in our personal life too.

  • I’ll be happy when I have more money
  • I can start working out when I have this
  • I’ll wait for my family member to apologize before I do

Most successful companies and projects were started by one driven person with an idea and some resourcefulness.

“Be as tall as a mountain, but small as a grain of sand.” — Chade-Meng Tan



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Christopher Perry

Christopher Perry

Chris is a Sales Director at University Tees. He is a published writer, reader, lifter, and learner, and finds joy in helping others realize they aren’t alone.