Flee, freeze or fight are the 3 known animal brain responses to danger.

1. Zebras flee from lions.

2. Deer freeze when facing danger.

3. Yet, crocodiles fight for their food.

All of three responses involve spending energy, or in business terms - money.

How you respond to danger is a matter of both personality and tactics.

A different sort of problem faces us when we run into difficulty, trouble or an obstacle in our business - expanding our business, growing sales, or keeping our customers.

We have different tactical choices - beyond flee, freeze or fight.

We can try to fake-out our adversary who can spend more money and energy to stop us.

Fake-outs are well known in war.

Facing an enemy of even roughly the same size, it becomes dangerous and too bloody to go through them.

Even facing smaller forces -with their backs to the wall- can be trouble: the Texans at Alamo and the Greeks holding off the Persians at the Thermopylae pass.

When an adversary is truly committed to defending a position, has dug in, with no good escape route, successful armies have chosen to fake-out the enemy. Pretend to engage, bypass, and have the enemy waste or expend its supply line.

The early Scottish had an advanced fake-out strategy. With their bagpipes blaring from miles away, the Scots marched into battle promising great fierceness, yet from far enough way that some the enemy could slip away. Enough slipped away and the battle was won without a fight.

We see remnants of this advanced fake-out strategy when a franchisor announces a new multi-unit deal or some international expansion.

They are announcing from afar that they intend to occupy the field very soon and that the independents would be better off selling, shutting down or moving on. Keep this in mind the next time you see this type of announcement.

What are you revealing about your own company's intentions with your announcements? Are you credible?

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