Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Redux: Sun Tzu and the Art of Pink in New Jersey

ADG Update: I'm not in New Jersey and am more than gratified to report in from Jacksonville Florida. I had to fly out this morning in order to get ahead of the blizzard redux that purports to wallop my patch in the DC area tonight. I wasn't supposed to speak until Thursday but they've kindly moved my juju spreading talk to first thing tomorrow. Not certain that I'll make it home tomorrow night but that's ok...long as I get there by Friday for my LFG weekend. My melancholy-grounded in gratitude for this being the only thing I'm remotely blue about-from not seeing LFG last weekend is palpable. Palpable-that's a big ass word for a South Carolina boy.

Before a Strategist can be victorious, he must first know Himself, the Other and the Terrain …Sun Tzu

Greetings from downtown New Brunswick. There’s a large multifaceted healthcare company here and they get the pleasure of my consulting drivel today. Giuseppe hit the nail on the head recently with regard to wearing pink. The G-man posits that if you’re gonna include pink in the lineup, it might be a good idea to collateralize it with conservative amigos. I approach it like I do Belgian shoes. Step up with confidence and take control of the situation quickly. Timing and Tempo are keys to strategic success when donning pink. Sun Tzu taught us this in the Art of War over two thousand years ago and John Boyd did a better job of it in decades past.

Guys (and Gals if it’s your thing)…if you want to read a page turner about a quantitative savant fighter pilot (very little actual combat-blood gore stuff…Boyd through nothing more than circumstance, didn’t fly much combat in Korea or Vietnam) who is essentially the father of the F-16, read this book.
Boyd and Sun Tzu, in addition to teaching timing and tempo also taught us the three prerequisites to strategic success:
Self: If you don’t feel comfortable in pink, then you won’t look confident and comfortable in it. Stay away. You’ll look like the effeminate fop that people will think you are.
Other: Know who you’ll be keeping company with and whether your togs are going to be a variable in that interaction. Don and shod accordingly. I can pull the white button down-three button solid gray sack suit-rep tie stuff out of the back of the closet if necessary…based on surmising Self-Other-Terrain. I’ve worn that getup during most of my civil and criminal trials…both as expert witness and accused.
Terrain: I’ll be with a group of young marketers and agency creative types today and the meeting is in their offices so I’m good. If I was spending the day at a teaching hospital where their technology is being considered or used, I’d default to the court room rig.
This is a lightweight charcoal mini check Flusser suit. Three button rolled to the second as usual for me. Flap pockets…no equestrian slant to these…pretty staid even though it nets out to be a snazzy rig. Flap ticket pocket. Single breasted peak lapels. Notch lapels are boring folks. English split back trousers. Strap and buckle in the back. No braces today.Pardon my cell phone pictures. This post was born at the last minute and I don’t travel with a camera. The shirt is a very light pink with white stripe. Monogram is opposite the 5th button so it sits just above the waistband. Tacky I know but by now; you all know. Monogram is dark gray so it pulls all this nonsense together. Tie from our man Ralph. Slightly lighter than charcoal. Silk basket weave but tres small weave.And finally, I ruin all of this with a pair of brown suede monk strap shoes. I hate black dress shoes. Don’t own a pair of them anymore. I wear brown suede monk straps year around. Sorry.

My favorite author Tom Wolfe and I have corresponded about brown suede dress shoes. Here’s the letter again. I’m so proud of it that I’ll probably post it 20 more times. Shut up.
Have a blessed balance of the week. And remember this from our Eastern strategic sensei … “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”. What’s your strategy? Mine in my personal and professional life is grounded in “Focused Passion”.



LPC said...

The Five Rings. House Of The Golden Flowers. All my colleagues are Chinese Americans...there's a lot of stuff to all that.

Anonymous said...

I was unsure about "Boyd" for years. Thanks for the endorsement.

Mitch said...

Hi Sir,

Enjoying the blog. Haven't yet caught the bit of exposition that reveals whether you went to Hopkins or maybe bought the baseball cap on a business trip. I'm not doubting, I just don't want to assume.

Anyways, I'm a JHU alum '08. Writing Seminars. Even considering the touted quality of the department, not many bluejays can write the way you do. Keep it coming!

Thanks for listening,

Chuck Hatt said...

Good God Man,

I thought that my love of your blog was my idiosyncratic affectation but now I see I am in rare company. Tom Wolfe, indeed.

Bill said...

You're dead on for wearing pink in the business context, but all bets are off when it comes to casual pink.

Most summer weekends find me in a bright pink polo, critter or madras shorts, Tiffany buckle, and prince albert slippers with G&T in one hand and a cigar in the other. Fuzzy dice, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I wanna marry Bill.

Future Wife o' Bill

Easy and Elegant Life said...

ADG, that's the right stuff. Keep the rest of the rig muted and wear the shirt. That dark tie in particular works wonders. I wear a lot of pink shirts, for business (well what passes for business for me) and casually. The rest of the creatives still give me grief. My favourite comment from an art director was "it takes a confident man to wear that much pink..."

Yes, yes it does.

Knock it outta the park at your presentation. Safe flight home.

ADG said...

Anon...Boyd was an uber strategist-bar none.

Mitch...Yes. I went to Hopkins-before you were born! Thanks for reading my blog.

Chuck...idiosyncratic affectation-damn-you nailed me! Thanks!

Bill...dice-the fuzzier the better!

Anon-Future Wife of Bill...He's no good for you. He was once married to my mom and my sister-at the same time.

Eleganto...thanks! I made it home in good form.

ADG said...

LPC....Read "Thick Face Black Heart" by Chin Ning Chu

Anonymous said...

I KNEW I liked him.

Best Regards,