There is no war without strife, no conflict without anguish and no interaction without an exchange of power. No one knew this fact better than the Chinese General Sun Tzu. The Art of War has continued to enthrall, educate and empathize with generals and strategists to this very day. It is a classic work on strategy and the very act of preparing for conflict.
Summary of the Book
There is much to be learnt in the battlefield. War is a constant entity in our lives, embodied in each and every type of interaction. Ceding territory to our enemies is no different from losing a business deal to our competitors. Perhaps that is why Sun Tzu’s teachings have become more relevant to this generation than to its predecessors. Written thousands of years ago, this tiny book carries a weight that could and should have protected mankind from its own foolishness. Sun Tzu detested open conflict, and his writing stands by his emotions. He chose to fight, run and fight again, focussing on strategies not unlike those followed in the Chinese game of Go. In stark comparison, the West’s affinity for the rules of Chess and its relative bloodlust place it in a difficult position. Sun Tzu believed that wars were won in the planning stage, that much of the battlefield could be controlled. Know your enemy, and know yourself, he taught his men. He believed knowledge is power, and that it was just as important that one knew one’s own capabilities before facing an enemy as it is to know the size of an enemy’s army. Despite its age, this book has become the standard text and reference guide for soldiers, generals, tacticians, strategists and business managers to this very day. Its immortal advice is as relevant to our generation of boardroom wars and conference conflicts as it was to Sun Tzu when he fought rival generals with a relatively smaller army, confounding his peers with his skill and tenacity for terrifying the enemy.
About Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is said to have lived in the Spring and Autumn Period of ancient China. His actual existence is the subject of much debate and speculation.