For a little more than ten years I had the privilege of training in Tang Soo Do with my entire family. It was an experience that gave me a very specific set of personal goals that had nothing to do with my career, but were in 100% alignment with my wife and all four children. This was a unique opportunity and I highly recommend it to any young family out there.
During this time I learned a great deal about ancient asian culture and history, but one of the more significant teachings came from the book The Art of War, by Sun Tzu. [There are a lot of different versions of this book, so you may want to shop a little to find one that suits your taste.]
Written more than 2,000 years ago by an infamous Chinese General, it is by far one of the most influential books on the martial arts. Even though it is intended to be a manual on carrying out warfare, it has also been recognized as the most comprehensive text on strategy and has been applied to many aspects of business such as sales execution, management, and general business strategy
This will be the first post in a series that will apply the lessons from The Art of War to the world of business (whether your leading one, or just working in one).
Sun Tzu said: “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting”
This is actually a core philosophy in all martial arts. It is always better to avoid the conflict altogether than to engage and win. Because by winning the conflict, there will be a loser who is inspired to come back and fight another day.
How do you break the enemy’s resistance without a messy fight? It is only with knowledge:
Sun Tzu said: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but know not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know not the enemy or yourself, you will succumb in every battle”
In my business experience, conflicts usually occur when I am lacking information about a competitor or a colleague. But it can be even worse when I am oblivious to how my own behavior is being perceived. If you seek to understand both sides of every situation thoroughly, you can identify a solution where you get what you want and no one has to lose.
I guess Sun Tzu invented the Win/Win!
About This Blog
Just what we needed......
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox, David Whitford
- The Art of War: With Commentaries by James Clavell by Sun Tzu, Sun Zi, James Clavell(Editor), James Clavell(Editor), James Clavell(Commentaries by)
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss, Ray Porter(Read by)
- American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 by H. W. Brands
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