Back in 1612, Sasaki Kojiro paced the banks of Ganryu Island in a rage.
Kojiro, one of Japan’s greatest swordsmen, had put on his best attire, sharpened his custom-made sword and had been promoting his upcoming duel with another man, Miyamoto Musashi, as the fight of the century.
The hour of the battle had come, and Musashi was a no show.
While Kojiro’s fans spread the rumor that the older Musashi had run in fear for his life, the reality was far from that.
Miyamoto Musashi, who had the hardened experience of significant life-and-death duels, was simply weakening his opponent without literally lifting a finger.
The duel was rescheduled for the next morning and Musashi put on rags for clothes and left his sword behind as he embarked on a long boat ride to the island.
The experienced Miyamoto carved a sword from a boat oar on his journey, and stepped onto the shores of Ganryu Island.
His opponent, seeing his dishonorable appearance and wooden sword, flew into a rage, dropped his scabbard and attacked Musashi.
With his wooden sword, Miyamoto Musashi countered the attack, breaking Sasaki Kojiro’s ribs, puncturing his lung, and killing him.
Musashi bowed to his fallen opponent and walked back to his boat.
This story of Miyamoto Musashi is from his story, The Book of the Five Rings.
Businessmen around the globe have read and studied this book and case studies have been created of the modern application of Musashi’s principles . . . one such case study applied to Donald Trump’s business empire.
Today, with Donald Trump’s announcement that he will not attend Fox News’ debate due to the bias of the network and their moderator, Megyn Kelly, the story above appears to be replaying in front of us.
Fox News, much like Kojiro, hyped the showdown between Trump and Kelly with a mocking glee. They controlled the time, date, location and rules of the debate and arrogantly stood their ground, eventually claiming that Trump was in “fear” to appear in front of Megyn Kelly.
Rather than acquiesce to Fox News’ control, Trump did what no one expected and walked away, enraging Fox News bureaucrats to the point that they issued a laughable press release claiming they won’t give in to “terrorizations” by Trump’s staff.
Fox News, which features commentary with a touch of news, has been left on the banks of Manhattan Island, gasping for ratings as Trump calmly walks to his jet.
Real life, unlike the bubble created by media empires, is something that cannot be controlled. It takes strategy and cunning to come out on top and no amount of boasting or whining will guarantee a win for Fox News, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.
Victory in campaigns, business, and war goes to the souls who calculate outcomes, weigh risks and boldly jump.
In this round, Trump showed his business acumen by devaluing Fox News stock by refusing to allow them to gain from his presence . . . and it’s clear that, with his direct access to the public, Donald Trump has no need for Fox News.
Miyamoto Musashi would be proud.