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192 Sun Tzu: The Art of War

Strategies and tactics for warfare, applicable in both military and civilian contexts, with emphasis on deception, adaptation, and diplomacy.

Sun Tzu: The Art of War


"The Art of War" is an ancient Chinese military treatise written by Sun Tzu around the 5th century BCE. It is considered one of the most influential works on military strategy and has been used as a guide for warfare throughout history. The book provides a comprehensive guide to tactics, strategies, and principles of warfare, emphasizing the importance of deception, adaptation, and diplomacy. However, the book's teachings can also be applied to other fields, such as business, sports, and politics. The book is divided into 13 chapters, each focused on a specific aspect of warfare, including planning, attacking, defense, and spying. Throughout the book, Sun Tzu emphasizes the importance of knowing oneself and one's enemy in order to win battles. He also stresses the importance of avoiding direct conflict when possible and using indirect strategies to outmaneuver opponents. With its focus on strategy, flexibility, and deception, "The Art of War" remains a classic and influential work that has stood the test of time.


Title: The Art of War

Author: Sun Tzu

Publishing year: 2016

Publisher: Various editions and translations available

Length in hours: 1 hour and 23 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The importance of understanding oneself, one's opponent, and the environment in which a battle is fought.
  2. The need to be flexible and adaptable in order to respond to changing circumstances.
  3. The value of deception and indirect strategies to outmaneuver opponents.
  4. The importance of selecting the right time and place to engage in battle.
  5. The role of leadership and communication in successfully executing a strategy.
Sun Tzu: The Art of War

5 funny quotes

  1. "In business, the competition will bite you if you keep running; if you stand still, they will swallow you." - Victor Kiam
  2. "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." - Jose Narosky
  3. "War does not determine who is right, only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
  4. "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte
  5. "A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit." - Arnold H. Glasow

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "All warfare is based on deception." - Sun Tzu
  2. "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." - Sun Tzu
  3. "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." - Sun Tzu
  4. "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu
  5. "In war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak." - Sun Tzu

5 dilemmas

  1. The tension between direct and indirect strategies, and the need to balance the risks and benefits of each approach.
  2. The challenge of applying military principles to civilian contexts, and the potential for unintended consequences or ethical issues.
  3. The tension between short-term and long-term goals, and the need to balance immediate success with sustainable and lasting outcomes.
  4. The challenge of communication and leadership in implementing a strategy, and the potential for misinterpretation or resistance.
  5. The ethical implications of using deception and manipulation in strategic decision-making, and the need to consider the broader impacts of one's actions on society and individuals.

5 examples

  1. Julius Caesar, who used Sun Tzu's principles to successfully conquer Gaul and expand the Roman Empire.
  2. George Washington, who used tactics similar to those outlined in "The Art of War" to successfully lead the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
  3. Napoleon Bonaparte, who was a known admirer of Sun Tzu's teachings and used them to great effect in his military campaigns.
  4. Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, who is known for his use of Sun Tzu's principles in football strategy and game planning.
  5. Elon Musk, who has been known to quote "The Art of War" in his business and strategic decision-making.

Referenced books

  1. "The Book of Five Rings" by Miyamoto Musashi 
  2. "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli 
  3. "The Thirty-Six Strategies" 
  4. "The Strategy of Conflict" by Thomas C. Schelling 
  5. "The Art of War for Executives" by Donald G. Krause

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"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

Sun Tzu: The Art of War
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