The Art of War for Managers

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The Art of War for Managers

While “The Art of War” was written by Sun Tzu during the 6th century B.C., long before the colonization of the Americas, the onslaught of the Crusades, and before the Persian Wars of around 490 B.C., it remains relevant to this day. There is also strong evidence that the work inspired Napoleon and was used in the planning of Operation Desert Storm. “The Art of War” has withstood the sands of time due to its simplistic approach, and its applicability to non-military strategies. “The Art of War“, interpreted by Gerald, A. Michaelson, as well as other authors, use Sun Tzu’s timeless strategies and apply them to the modern day corporate world.

The themes in “The Art of War” seem to run parallel to those in the business world, with the fight to be the leading company seen as the war and the competition seen as the enemy troops. There are several quotes used by Sun Tzu in his book that can be used to motivate managers and other businessmen in order to achieve ultimate success. While interpretations vary somewhat from author to author, the messages of the quotes remain similar.

One of the main themes of the book is that force doesn’t necessarily have to be taken in order to come out on top. This is expressed by the quote, “Wisdom rather than force can defeat an enemy.” Concurring to this belief is author B.H. Liddell Hart in his book “Strategy”. In the book Hart states, “The true aim is not so much to seek battle as to seek a strategic situation so advantageous that if it does not of itself produce the decision, its continuation by battle is sure to achieve this.” What they are trying to say is that if you devise a terrific strategy and implement it successfully, you will already be a step ahead of the game when it comes to the actual battle. This is very true in the corporate world, with the battle being replaced by the competition of the market. In business, great strategy isn’t a strategy necessarily implemented to directly...
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