As a kid I remember playing the game “king of the hill". For those unfamiliar here’s the simplest explanation of how the game is played. Find any obstacle, mound of dirt, or toy upon which you can stand which places you higher than everyone around you. Declare yourself to be king of the hill and then defend your position while others around you try to push you off and take your spot. This aggressive game often leads to cuts, bruises, and wounded pride as everyone fights to be “on top". One of the best tactics used for maintaining your spot as king often involved “giving way" when rushed by an opposing force. Rather than bracing for impact if you offered minimum resistance followed by a quick yield of position you could maintain your spot while the would-be challenger falls past you to the other side.

As we grow older the game no longer is carried out on tiny mounds of dirt in the school yard playgrounds but instead is undertaken in boardrooms, politics, and battlegrounds. The stakes are higher, the defeats more devastating. However just as when you were a child there are ways to beat the contenders who would seek to eject you from your seat. I think too many times we forget the concept which once proved to be so successful for us. Yielding and giving way without relinquishing position. Too many times in “the real-world" we defend our position relentlessly and without budging. We seek to become an immovable object. Eventually however a stronger opponent will arise one with greater force and the ability to overcome your resistance. If instead we follow the same tactics we used as a child there is an increased opportunity to stay on top.

How? Easy. Give way without giving up. Yield without losing position. Allow the momentum of the opposition to be their own downfall. Don’t foolishly think you can staunch deny every attack with brute force. Be smart about your opposition and choose your battles carefully. In the end you’ll find you may be king of the hill just a little bit longer.