Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers by Sun TzuMore than two millennia ago the famous Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote the classic work on military strategy, The Art of War. Now, in Sun Tzu and the Art of Business, Mark R. McNeilly shows how Sun Tzus strategic principles can be successfully applied to modern business situations. Here are really two books in one: McNeillys synthesis of Sun Tzus ideas into six strategic principles for the business executive, plus the entire text of Samuel B. Griffiths popular translation of The Art of War. Within, McNeilly explains how to gain market share without inciting competitive retaliation, how to attack a competitors weak points, and how to maximize the power of market information for competitive advantage. He also demonstrates the value of speed, preparation, and secrecy in throwing the competition off-balance, employing strategy to beat the competition, and the need for character in successful leaders. In his final chapter, McNeilly presents a practical method to put Sun Tzu and The Art of Business into practice. By using modern examples throughout the book from GE, Microsoft, AT&T, BMW, Southwest Airlines, FedEx, and many others, he illustrates how, by following the wisdom of historys most respected strategist, executives can avoid the pitfalls of management fads and achieve lasting competitive advantage.
The 7 books every entrepreneur MUST read!
Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers
Thousands of business books are published each year, most of which are destined for the remainders bin. However, there are a handful of business books that have literally changed the world. Here's my list:. While militaristic thinking sometimes leads to bizarre business behavior like treating competitors as enemies rather than potential partners , Sun Tzu's magnum opus really isn't about war, per se. It's more about how to think strategically about complex issues, as well as how to adapt those strategies to the often limited reality of the human condition. Fun fact: Sun Tzu's patron tested the strategist's theories on war by asking him to organize an army of prostitutes and have them parade around the courtyeard. While intended for monarchs rather than moguls, Machiavelli's realpolitik view that "the end justifies the means" is the basis for modern corporate ethics.
There are multiple aspects to being an effective manager, but the bottom line is: you will be responsible for overseeing and supervising a company's activities and employees. Besides thoroughly understanding the business, you also have to be a motivator, a leader. Given all that, I still feel like being a manager is possibly the best job in the world, and the most complex. There are thousands of books about management but what follows are those that have withstood the test of time. So, whether you are a manager or hope to be one, these books will help you move towards that goal.
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About Josh Kaufman
A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work. An amazing overview of everything you need to know. Covers all of the basics, minus buzzwords and fluff. One of the most inspiring things I've read in years. I think anyone and everyone living in our modern world would be well-served by reading this book I got the Audible edition, bought the Kindle edition to read along with, and just ordered the print copy so I can make lots of notes and refer to it often.
This story appears in the January issue of Entrepreneur. If you've everfelt that business is like war and who hasn't pondered the similarities? Don't get the wrong idea: This isn't a crush-your-competitors-into-the-ground strategy. To the contrary, one of Sun Tzu's dictates is to "win all without fighting. In the final analysis, much of Sun Tzu's wisdom seems to be grounded in good old-fashioned common sense--you'd obviously want to go after a competitor's weaknesses instead of their strengths, right? But, as McNeilly illustrates , companies repeatedly fail to employ smart tactics when doing battle with each other.