Leadership and Deconstructing Sun Tzu

 

One can take many different approaches to complex problem solving and I am not willing to say that one approach is superior to another.

I was drawn to Sun Tzu because I have had a fascination with various Asian cultures since I was a teenager and have studied meditation, martial arts and Eastern Philosophy since I was a teenager

There are certain principles in Sun Tzu’s Art  of  War  that  are  generally  accepted by most skilled strategists, and are in alignment with my studies in Applied game Theory and Gamification. Any ordinary individual can use these ideas to be successful in competitive environments.
Many experts on Sun Tzu accept that there are ten key points that can be used in most competitive situations whether in business, war or everyday human relations. I have reinterpreted them a bit and added my own spin to using the concept of teams or groups to replace Sun Tzu’s concept of armies.

One can take many different approaches to complex problem solving and I am not willing to say that one approach is superior to another.

I was drawn to Sun Tzu because I have had a fascination with various Asian cultures since I was a teenager and have studied meditation, martial arts and Eastern Philosophy since I was a teenager

There are certain principles in Sun Tzu’s Art  of  War  that  are  generally  accepted by most skilled strategists, and are in alignment with my studies in Applied game Theory and Gamification. Any ordinary individual can use these ideas to be successful in competitive environments.
Many experts on Sun Tzu accept that there are ten key points that can be used in most competitive situations whether in business, war or everyday human relations. I have reinterpreted them a bit and added my own spin to using the concept of teams or groups to replace Sun Tzu’s concept of armies

  1. Goals

A strategist must have a goal and the means for assessing and comparing key factors. Here             Sun Tzu focuses on the following five fundamental factor.

(a)  The end result you seeking.

(b)  The climate – specifically the weather and the seasons.

(c)  The physical environment you are competing in specifically the terrain, leadership, and the                 managing and utilization of resources.  Before anything else can take place the effective                   strategist  must  assess  and  compare  these key points. Any deviation from this is                            guaranteed to produce failure.

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  1. Risk Analysis
    No matter how skilled an individual is, he cannot succeed in a competitive environment if the  cost of winning bankrupts him.  Here Sun Tzu explains the economics of competition. This includes not only the ability  to  assess and  compare key factors while taking action, but also taking economical and beneficial action.
  2. The Plan of Attack
    Here Sun Tzu defines what makes a team strong or weak.  Counter intuitively he minimizes the importance of size or numbers focusing more on unity, skill among team members and commonality of purpose as the primary tool of success. He also places  great  value  on  forming strong alliances with other groups against a common adversary.
  1. Tactics
    This strategy recognizes the power that comes from seizing opportunities as they arise rather than expending valuable resources in attempting to create opportunities. By waiting  for  opportunities you can more effectively defend what you already have (defending existing positions) and create an emotionally  grounded, low  stress environment that will more easily enable you to act at exactly the right time. This philosophy reflects the cliché that “Success happens when preparation and opportunity meet.”(see the Conversation on the Law of Attraction).
  2. Momentum
    When one is able to conserve one’s energy, and use it at the most appropriate time, a natural rhythm comes into play that enables one  to overcome obstacles that might otherwise seem insurmountable. The formula here is: Creativity and timing = momentum. Momentum wins the battle.
  3. Maximizing Personal Strengths
    This is my own category title not Sun Tzu’s.  In my studies in Applied Gane Theory and Gamification focused on how an individual might isolate their natural talents and skills and apply them to gain benefits at the lowest possible cost. Conversely tremendous opportunities may arise if an individual is able to isolate relative weaknesses of your opponent. as well.
  4. Maneuvering in ConfrontationSun Tzu is adamant that whenever possible it is best to avoid direct conflict even in a situation where your opponent is intent to have  such  a  conflict  come  about.  It is essential  that  one  be  aware  of the costs and dangers of such engagement and have the essential skills to succeed or win such a confrontation when it is forced upon you (when one is between “a rock and hard place”).
  5. Responding to Black Swan Events
    A Black Swan Event is what happens when something seemingly irrational, improbable and unexpected takes place with substantial consequences. The master strategist must possess a natural flexibility and enough reserve in all of the skills to respond successfully to shifting circumstances.
  1. The Tools of Attack
    This addresses the use of technology and the general use of circumstances and environment against an opponent. It also explores how to use technology, circumstances and environment against an attack.

10.  Information
Here Sun Tzu discusses the importance of developing and managing good information.

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In the end Sun Tzu  is especially interested in information resources that your opponent is unaware

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Lewis Harrison is an author, practical philosopher, motivational speaker,, a leadership trainer,, mentor and coach. He hosts a weekly talk show on NPR affiliated WIOX 91.3 FM (Streaming at WIOXRadio.org)

You can reach him at LewisCoaches@gmail.com

Lewis offers stress management programs throughout the United States that combine the great spiritual principles with applied game theory.

His corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Veges, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Miami and Orlando Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

His book “Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Time” addresses important issues on human potential and personal development

Here is a short interview with Lewis Harrison on unnecessary struggle and visionary thinking

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