In martial arts, I remember that we have done a lot of times, the same, boring moves until our instructor was satisfied with our performance. The pattern of those moves, their rhythm, their sequence and their coordination are the result of many years of experience, practice, and training!

A Business Kata

They called kata and their aim is to prepare your body to respond in a predetermined way in a given situation! The excellent performance in a kata provides an indication of better performance in a real situation.

Usually, as Westerners and Greeks, we asked the Sensei (teacher) the why question! Why we do that, or this, how we are going to use the kata we learn, in what situation, etc. Sensei usually smiled and told us, always, the same thing: “when the time comes, you will know” (…what you will do)! And he was right.

In martial arts, you prepare for situations you might face, in a best possible way! Not, for winning a particularly, dangerous, situation, but for avoiding it! You are preparing for developing more options in every given situation (as in NLP) but you are training for the moment you would have none!

It is the same thing in business. We usually forget that is not every one of us, a natural-born leader, or entrepreneur. For most of us, it needs a lot of work and endless hours of preparation to produce even the most minor results!

More than that, it does not come easy! Many times, we strive after goals, that are too much higher from our current position, without the knowledge of the danger or of the consequences!

I distinctly remember a passage from a speech of the former president John F. Kennedy for Aerospace Medical Health, a task at the time was too much difficult. It reads:

Frank O’Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall–and then they had no choice but to follow them.(John F. Kennedy Speeches, Remarks at the Dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center, San Antonio, Texas, November 21, 1963)

Later on, in my career, I met a manager who taught me that everything depends on the way you see things! Where one finds an obstacle someone else finds an opportunity. And many times we forget that the word crisis in the Chinese language is composed of two symbols: danger and opportunity.

It is the same in business. There are never easy and there are never ready-made recipes to drive you towards your goals! You need to think how you get there and the best possible way to solve the problems may arise during your course of actions!

Exactly this is your kata. A business kata, though! A constant training of the same solid “moves” (ideas, approaches, tools, etc), provide the best results, over and over again, in order they become a second nature and something that you have to perform without an effort!

Just Like in business! What do you think? Please write a thought or two!