Summary of the Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Art of War highlights several ideal points which could easily be used in the process of risk management and military capabilities. It is one of the finest books written on military treatise that has been translated from the Chinese languages into various other languages globally. This book by Sun Tzu remained anonymous to England till the 1872 and entered the scene when a French priest with the name of Joseph Amiot, who was residing in China, translated it.
However, the translation was poorly produced. Nevertheless, in 1908, Capt. Callthrop re-wrote it. He came up with a better piece of this book which was, in most cases, a massive improvement from its very first translated form.
This book is among the many books that are referred extensively for military matters. If nations wish to extract information about how a military must be managed and mainly, what the role of any general is in governing an army, then they must understand that this book provides the reader and even government with all the vital aspects of how to become a military man.
Sun Tzu has tried to establish a variety of themes in his book. These are basically discussing about the way a general must run his military. In one of the instances in the book, Sun Tzu orders the women to follow his orders regarding where to turn when his order comes.
On commanding the girls to turn to the left, he noticed that they merely started laughing instead of obeying his command. This led him to realize that if the army does not obey commands, then this is the weakness of the general in lacking the basic understanding of how to send his word across.
The gist of Sun Tzu’s idea of the novel is that shortcomings in military could merely be achieved through proper planning in the military and addressing all the conflicting elements that distort the basic purpose and integrity of the society. His strategy to win a war is contingent upon the five basics which lead him to argue that if these factors are brought into one’s life, success in military strategy will surely find its way through automatically.
The first among his strategy is the one that deals with moral ethics which is called ‘tao’ in Chinese. This is the basic principle that governs any strategy. Moreover, this is one element that can be used today in business and other aspects too. Introspection, as the term goes, helps to explain that before an action is completed, a person must think it through thoroughly and deeply. This pertains to the fact that before a decision is made, it is wise to strategically think it through to be able to decipher in a much more refined way. The second element in his book deals with is the climate which is called tien by the author in his language. He explores this major element, explaining how it could also be one of the crucial factors in deciding the efficient dealing of a general. One could go on and ask a person that a climate could not be controlled and during times of warfare, it is the most unpredictable season to get control of, according to the author, any good general will have the power in him to mould time to his own advantage.
This means that a general will be the decisive factor in winning any battle. He should know what measures to take to use the change of seasons for his own good. Not all nations prefer to fight during the winter season particularly as the cold is torturous. However, they end up doing that with the leadership quality of their general in guiding them towards how they must do it.
There is yet another crucial factor in a battle field. This pertains to the importance of using the battle ground to one’s most advantageous potential. In Chinese, it is known as Di. A general will be able to distinguish quite easily between a good terrain and the one that causes him to inflict more harm while save his own men from being persecuted by the enemy. (Steven, 2010)
This means that when the terrain is taken to the control of the general, every possibility starts to sink in. Ideally, a leader must know how to use that in the climate for the good of the person.
The fourth element is basically the leadership and command which means that a general must be able to have sufficient control over him. A leader has to guide all. Therefore, as a leader, only he must guide himself rather than letting anybody else do that for him. This also implies that the leader will have to be sound and of a sturdy nature to be able to control his men to the best of the potential. If he will let his men lose, then he will only make things worse for himself. These elements that are described in his book are ones that could easily be applied on the practical world. They may have been written with regard to providing insight into military management; however, they could also be used generally, to explain other forms of communication.
I personally enjoyed reading this book. This book is significant for every person looking to find success in any field. It simply reinstates my point of view in hard work and looking beyond problems and coming to terms with our problems to address them.
I harmonize with the way Sun Tzu has presented the several aspects of his argument through the king to show how skill can actually get a man on the ladder of success. It also implies how crucial it is for a person to understand what he or she must do in order to understand the importance of being a leader and taking people along with you to wherever you want to go.
There is one thing that I particularly liked about this book. It is the casual way of writing it. The writer has not made any extra effort on making the language of the book difficult for the reader to connect with. As the book is quite old, there are several redundant words. Nevertheless, they do not stop the message from coming across easily.
This book should be read by all organizations as it could allow their men to understand how any organization is run. This explains how the people generally believe in what they must do about their own personal lives to come up with such well informed decisions regarding their lives. This explains how people can be successful if they are willing to confront their fears and then solve their problems accordingly. (Tactics, 2006)
This book should become a role model for several organizations and all the rulers globally as it provides excellent and detailed insight into the role of general on whose shoulders the success of any warfare rests. If he fights a war with a planned strategy, then he will be successful in any case. (Tzu and Giles, 2008)
Strategies. Strategies tactics. <http://www.strategies-tactics.com/suntzusummary.htm>.2006 . Web 4 October 2012
Tzu, Sun and Lionel Giles. The Art of War. Wilder Publications, 2008.