RULE#22: Never bring a knife to a gun fight
As everyone in my family knows this is one of my favorite expressions. It is actually a derivation of a movie quote from 1987’s “The Untouchables”.
“You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. ‘That’s’ the ‘Chicago’ way!”
It has been reworked in the urban dictionary landscape to something approaching my use of the expression.
“Never bring a knife to a gun fight”
Although this may have a violent application by Officer Malone in the movie the uses I have found for are much broader. In the movie Malone, played by Sean Connery, is trying to convince a young Elliot Ness that winning in a world where the odds are stacked against you will require you do something to change those odds.
As an important but off topic aside, Sean Connery is the only legitimate James Bond. No one before him or since has been able to capture the cocky self confidence of his James Bond.
Sons, what the old James Bond movies ( in particular 1964’s Goldfinger) shows you is the secret of what women truly want. It has very little to do with his appearance or toughness, it has to do with a certain swagger of confidence that can not be faked. Women in general, in my modest opinion, want a man who walks into a room and knows exactly where he is going and exactly what he wants. If you want to know what that self confidence looks like watch “Goldfinger”
OK back to the fight…
The rule has to do with more knowing what the game is before you begin to play it.
In your lives you will be faced with many challenges from finding a job, to raising children to purchasing a home, each and everyone of these challenges will require you to follow this rule.
I have interviewed hundreds of people for jobs over the years. Some have not shaved, some have worn inappropriate clothes ( no Matthew, a colorful slogan tee shirt is not appropriate in all occasions) or known nothing about the company or position they were interviewing. Clearly in these cases they came to the interviews with knives and left with the gaping gun shot wound of rejection. They stand in sharp contrast to the rare gun slinger candidate who is loaded with knowledge about the company and a professional appearance.
This rule is designed to help remind you to not go a date, an interview, into a meeting or major purchase without first assessing the situation , preparing for the situation and then executing.
Joe Paterno, the patron saint of college football, said, “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”
This idea is so central to my core belief about success that I had it written on the conference room of my company’s training room. I originally wanted to use this rule on the wall, but thought that JoePa’s quote would require less explanationand offend less NRA opponents.
Kids the key part of the rule is as simple as it is important. If you go into every situation not as just with a rah-rah ” I’m a winner and I’m going to win” type of mantra but rather with the Sean Connery swagger of knowing that you have a fully loaded Walther PPK in your pocket your probability of success goes up dramatically.