In 1792 BC the Amorite chief of Babylon died. He was replaced by a son, Hammurabi. This new leader was trapped between two major kingdoms: Rim-sin and Shamashi-adad.
Hammurabi was not strong enough to fight either city, so he patiently prepared. “He bided his time, building canals and temples, reinforcing cities.” In effect, he quietly strengthened his center.
When the time was right, he edged towards the margins of Rim-sin’s kingdom. There he captured a smaller, less-important city, while being careful not to threaten the heart of Rim-sin’s kingdom. Next, he forged alliances with Rim-sin’s enemy, Shamashi-adad. Then he quietly waited.
In the end, Hammurabi conquered the entire region, defeating both his enemies and his allies – whereupon he only intensified his efforts to strengthen his center: Hammurabi unified the kingdom with a detailed set of laws, and then he established control of the shipping routes, requiring a royal passport at key checkpoints.
The lesson for me is this: Strengthen the center first. I can only engage in two activities: I can increase output or I can increase capacity (for output). There will be times, when I must quietly wait for opportunity. It is best, in those times, to focus on increased capacity.