10 Business Lessons from "The Art Of War" by Sun Tzu
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1). All Warfare Is Based On Deception
-When able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

-Business, for the most part, is a zero-sum game. It is war. Companies battle for market share, customers, and sales. You must keep your competition unaware of your actions.

2). Supreme Excellence Is Winning Without Fighting
-The best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it.

-Winning every battle is excellent. But, winning every battle without having to fight is supreme excellence. You don’t always have to fight in business to win. One can sell their company, agree to a merge with a competitor, or acquire a competitor.

3). Don’t Be Second
-Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

-The field, in this analogy, is the marketplace. It is important to get your product into the marketplace before your rivals. You want to be aware of trends and shifts in the market and get new products to market ahead of your competitors.

4). Never Announce Your Attack
- The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several different points, and his forces being thus distributed in many directions.

-This is often referred to as the element of surprise. If a company doesn’t know what it’ll do next, it can’t plan to defend itself. They are forced to prepare by distributing resources among various areas.

5). If The Left Is Strong, Attack From The Right
-Should he strengthen his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right, he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.

-Every company, no matter their size, is weak in one area or another. Even well-established, multi-billion dollar corporations have their weaknesses.

6). Warfare Requires Drums And Flags
-On the field of battle, the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums. Nor can ordinary objects be seen enough: hence the institution of banners and flags.

-In war, there are generals and soldiers. In business, there are executives and employees. However, in both fields, tools are needed to help leader share their vision and plan.

7). The 5 Dangerous Faults

1. Recklessness, which leads to destruction
2. Cowardice, which leads to capture
3. A hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults
4. A delicacy of honour which is sensitive to shame
5. Over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble

-Being too brave can lead to recklessness, but not being brave at all can lead to cowardice. A leader must be logical and not be provoked by insults from the enemy.
-Know that there is no shame in running away from the battle to fight another day.

8). Forge a Team with Singleness of Purpose and Commitment
-Treat your men well, and train them thoroughly. Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as well as motivated individuals.

-When building a business, you must bring your employees together as one family. Your business must become their business.

9). Use Climate and Prevailing Conditions to your Advantage
- When seeing a barrier, cry, curse, and then get a ladder and climb over it. Face reality as it is; not as it was or as you wish it were.

-In every situation, whether good or bad; there is an opportunity. Even in the worst situation, try to find a loophole. If you don’t find one, create one. No matter how bad the situation, you must find a way to use it to your business advantage.

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