The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy. It composed of 13 chapters, each of which is based on philosophy, used the idea of philosophy to observe the war, discussed and find out the general rule of war. Though it is very short, it devoted to one aspect of warfare.
The Art of War has a perfect logic system. These 13 chapters, no matter more or less will influence the main idea. Just like the first chapter is Laying Plans, it explores the five fundamental factors and seven elements that define a successful outcome. The second chapter is Waging War, this part is not like the warfare that we think like today, it explains how to understand the economy of war and how success requires making the winning play, which in turn, requires limiting the cost of competition and conflict. After the sufficient preparation, what we need is stratagem, so there are Attack by Stratagem, Tactical Dispositions, Energy, Weak Points and Strong, Maneuvering and Variation of Tactics chapters, all of them are focus on essentials of warfare. In the end of the book, it talks about The Army on the March, Terrain, The Nine Situations, The Attack by Fire and The Use of Spies, each of them is specific stratagem.
As a military strategy book, it’s full of sagacious idea, and is it not only focusing on warfare, but also analyzing military thinking, business tactics and even leadership and management skills.
So is The Art of War not only on military application, but also on application outsider the military. Just like on our course that we talked about leadership. As we know, a leader is the core for a company, if you are a competent leader, the company will be flourishing, but on the contrary, the answer is denying, and the
company will run into confusion.
The competent leadership is derived from noble personality. Sun Tzu told us that we need to develop the quality of noble character, like these dangerous faults which we need to overcome, they are recklessness, cowardice, a hasty temper, a delicacy of honor and over-solicitude for his men.
These dangerous faults will affect the leader to make the right decision, even influence the company. Sun Tzu also talked about that the past success does not indicate future success, so the recklessness, which leads to destruction, because we make the decision before we clearly consider the outcome. Cowardice, which leads to capture, because it makes us hesitated to do a decision-making. About a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults, it is easy to heart other people, make the relationship worse and worse. There is another demerit, a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame, the reason is that if you are sensitive on criticism, it is hard for us to find out our faults, it equals to give up to enhance ourselves, for example, some employees may be hide something, because they are afraid of peeving their leader. The last fault is over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble. If the leaders put personal feelings mixed in the understanding of the issues and tolerating the harmful behavior, it would easy to get wrong information, then affecting the efficiency of the company. In the end, employees will be like a spoiled child as willful. So Sun Tzu against the management of the relationship too close, he thought leaders and staff should maintain an appropriate distance, mature and calm but pay attention to the fairness principle.
Except these five dangerous faults we talked above, Sun Tzu also puts forward five virtues, each of which should be trained. They are wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.
Looking into the sequence of five commander stands, Sun Tzu puts the wisdom in the first, because the most important qualification in the cruel warfare is sagacity, as we know, the war is one of the most complicated and deceptive activities. The changing and puzzle need the...