How do we learn from the past? How do we use those learnings to improve our lives. An excellent example is the work of the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu’s – “The Art of War”. By learning from the experiences of the various kingdoms and validating this in real life, Sun Tzu was able to accumulate a body of knowledge which remains relevant today.
Which begs the question, have we as a nation learned anything from the past. What knowledge have we accumulated to move the Philippines forward – not backward. But that discussion is for another day. It’s a Sunday, I’ll keep it light. I find this more engaging than Wowowee. Or watching “Ang Panday”.
The videos were produced by The History Channel – not TFC. 😆
The Department of the Army in the United States, through its Command and General Staff College, has directed all units to maintain libraries within their respective headquarters for the continuing education of personnel in the art of war. The Art of War is mentioned as an example of works to be maintained at each individual unit, and staff duty officers are obliged to prepare short papers for presentation to other officers on their readings.
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program (formerly known as the Commandant’s Reading List).
During the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s, both General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. and General Colin Powell practiced Sun Tzu’s principles of deception, speed, and attacking the enemy’s weakness.
Mark McNeilly writes in Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare that a modern interpretation of Sun and his importance throughout Chinese history is critical in understanding China’s push to becoming a superpower in the 21st century. Modern Chinese scholars explicitly rely on historical strategic lessons and The Art of War in developing their theories, seeing a direct relationship between their modern struggles and those of China in Sun Tzu’s time.
Sun Wu (simplified Chinese: 孙武; traditional Chinese: 孫武; pinyin: Sūn Wǔ), style name Changqing (長卿), better known as Sun Tzu (simplified Chinese: 孙子; traditional Chinese: 孫子; pinyin: Sūn Zǐ; pronounced [swə́n tsɨ̀]), was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed to have authored The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Sun Tzu has had a significant impact on Chinese and Asian history and culture, both as an author of The Art of War and through legend. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society, and his work has continued to influence both Asian and Western culture and politics.
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Without further adieu, here’s the Sun Tzu – Video Playlist.
It’s a Sunday on AP – relax, feed your mind. 😉
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How does this apply to our daily lives, or maybe at work, or in marketing – in selling an idea or selling ourselves to an employer.
Gary Gagliardi, Author of “Sun Tzu’s The Art of War Plus The Art of Marketing” – writes
The Competitive Ethics of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is broadly read within the business world as the basic primer for competitive strategy, which is easily adapted to marketing. In the original Chinese, the original work is an almost mathematical analysis of how competitive systems work. Though a basic translation puts its principles in military terms, its original formulas can be directly translated line by line from military terminology to business marketing terms. When we do this, some fascinating ethical insights emerge.
The most common misconception among people who have not studied Sun Tzu’s work is that is its basic competitive philosophy is Machiavellian, devoid of ethical considerations in advancing its principles of success in competitive arenas. Nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, Sun Tzu teaches that ethical behavior is the foundation for success in competition.
Sun Tzu’s ethics are pragmatic rather than idealistic. He focuses on the fact that direct conflict is inherently costly. Those who naturally react to competitive situations by wanting to engage in battles and defeat their opponents are doomed to defeat, even if they consistently win their battles. This as true in marketing battles as it is in military ones. He advances the art of war as a strategy for replacing the artless, destructive conflicts that define most competitive battles, including those that too often take place among business competitors.
His analysis is that victorious conflict is so inherently costly that it is never worthwhile. We can win a market by spending too much money, but we cannot make a profit doing so. He says specifically, “A general that fights a hundred battles and wins a hundred battles in not a great general. The great general is one who finds a way to win without fighting a single battle.”
The Art of War teaches us to stop defining successful in terms of winning conflicts or in terms of beating opponents. Sun Tzu redefines success very simply as advancing our position, improving our market share, if you will, while avoiding costly direct conflicts.
By using strategy, as oppose to brute force, we can advance our position in such a way that people do not want to attack us and, ideally want to join us. In warfare and marketing, this means finding openings where we can go around the competitors rather than battling them directly.
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This is certainly worth thinking about.