photo by Emerging Birder

Management tips from Sun Tzu

If you plan to read only one book on management, forget all of the recently published bestsellers and read Sun Tzu - The Art of War.

Back in the days people believed in the geocentric model of the universe, then Copernicus tried to explain that not everything revolves around Earth. And he had to be burned for that. Later, people finally accepted heliocentrism as a scientific fact, but deep down inside majority of people see the universe as a “egocentric” system. And even though Palahniuk said it well in Fight Club, we still believe we are each a unique snowflake, special and different. Everything starts and ends with us.

Well… In reality, most of the things were thought of, done and said long before we came along. The context was perhaps different, the platform too, but the essence was the same. We just have to learn to project the wisdom and prevent the mistakes older ones made.

We are at war people. We fight for the good life we want to live, because there isn’t enough for everyone, and only the brave, the strong and the wise will get what they want. Each of us leads an army, and even though some of them have only one soldier they can still be magnificent.

When it comes to management, the military doctrine evolved throughout centuries, and there were many great leaders, but only a few are still remembered. The reason for that is that they were the originals. You can learn from each and every one of them, but be aware that it is only worth it if you properly apply it in practice. So give your best try.

Sun Tzu wrote the Art of War some 25 centuries ago, and in this short book, he wrote all the lessons you need to know about managing your troops or team. To tease the ones who haven’t read this masterpiece, and motivate the rest to get back to it when in doubt about something, I’ve prepare a few management tips and tricks from the ancient Chinese general

  1. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  2. Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
  3. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
  4. All warfare is based on deception.
  5. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
  6. A leader leads by example, not by force.
  7. Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
  8. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
  9. When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.
  10. Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.
Can you imagine what YOU would do if YOU could do all YOU can?