Friday, August 10, 2012

A Few Favorite Sun Tzu Quotes, And Why...

Sun Tzu, the oft-quoted (including here), ancient military strategist, wrote, in my opinion, one of the best books on military strategy. The application of his teachings reaches far beyond the battlefield and into the business world, or life in general. Here are a few of my favorite quotes, and why. 

QUOTE: All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

WHY: Tzu often speaks of deception, and he couldn't be more spot on with how business and battlefield successes are gained. I'll never forget that scene in American Gangster where Denzel Washington's character speaks to how he conquered the drug-dealing streets of NY: he sat in a dark room for a week and thought through and memorized every step he was to take, evolving his strategy. 

QUOTE: Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
WHY: need I explain this one? 

QUTOE: If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
WHY: imagine the power you would have if you always had an idea of your enemies strength and weaknesses, as well as your own? Information wins battles! 

QUOTE: Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts. Then, until death itself comes, no calamity need be feared.
WHY: perhaps we all need to keep an open mind... Might also play into my feeling about organized religion. 

QUOTE: The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
WHY: one of my favorite quotes of all times is "chance favors the prepared mind". 

Got any of your own to share? 

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