A few books can create the lasting impact like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War have created for centuries. Not only has it transcend languages and times, but it has also transcend in meaning – as even though its main focus is to describe the implications of war, its concepts are applied to business and personal lives. Is my belief that, If viewed with a literal meaning, its concepts can be mistaken by contradictory as Sun Tzu beautifully interjects spiritual principles with warfare.
The first theme discussed by Sun Tzu is that of “laying plans.” This is a pretty self-descriptive theme as the concept is used constantly in the business world. In order to reach goals, a plan must be put together and followed thru. Without a strategic plan, the best leaders or the best employees couldn’t work together towards a common goal. Just like war, the more people involved the more planning needs to happen.
The author repeatedly mentions the ability to carefully evaluate our competition, where he invites leaders to use this knowledge for their advantage. By acknowledging their strengths and weaknesses, we can pinpoint our own weaknesses and strengths and use this information to gain a competitive advantage.
As Sun Tzu explained (2003), “If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.”