The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China’s Seven Military Classics, and “for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name.” It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond.
To me this book must be read in all business administration colleges and all business school to learn about strategy, organization, competitors in easy way. Following I show you some important reflection of Sun Tzu applied to the firms.
- Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
- Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.
- All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
- When torrential water tosses boulders, it is because of its momentum. When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing.
- The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.
- A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates.
- The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
- If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.
- The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
- Too frequent rewards indicate that the general is at the end of his resources; too frequent punishments that he is in acute distress.
- To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.
- Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.
- Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy’s unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.
- It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle.
- To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.
- If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him.
- When the enemy is at ease, be able to weary him; when well fed, to starve him; when at rest, to make him move. Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
- And therefore those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.