Sun Tzu's the Art of War: The Art of Being a Leader

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Sun Tzu’s book the Art of War is possibly one of the best readings I have ever had the chance to indulge myself in next to reading anything that has to do with the Civil War or World War 2. Sun Tzu’s text can be used on a broader scale than just for warfare. Let’s break down some of the areas that would be very helpful today’s society and possibly help us as a nation when trying to prevent some of these previous disasters. Sun Tzu speaks on the use of spies and the use of intelligence. He then focuses on the importance of developing good information sources, and specifies the five types of intelligence sources and how to best manage each of them. How good and pleasant would this have been with modern day attacks that we have hard right here in our own country? I didn’t want to go here but, everyone remembers Austin, Texas, United States Andrew Joseph Stack III crashes his plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas killing himself, a person inside the building, as well as injuring 13 others. The crash caused a serious fire and significant damage to the building. New York City, New York's Times Square was evacuated after the discovery of a car bomb US government believes radical Islamists in the Pakistani Taliban directed the plot and quite possibly may have financed it.

Then there was the incident in Jacksonville, Florida, United States when a man used a pipe bomb to attack a mosque. The bomb exploded while about 60 Muslims were praying in the mosque. Luckily the attack caused no injuries or deaths. Mohamed Osman Mohamed planned to detonate what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, but was actually part of a FBI Sting operation. He was arrested and charged with attempted terrorism. All these incidents had taken place in the past few years and this is just the beginning of what else has happened.

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Next Sun Tzu explains about “Laying Plans and the Calculations that explore the five fundamental factors or the way, seasons, terrain, leadership and management and seven elements that determine the outcomes of military engagements”. By thinking, assessing and comparing these points, a commander can calculate his chances of victory. Constant deviation from these calculations will ensure failure due to improper action. The text stresses that war is a very grave matter for the state and must not be commenced without due consideration. With this said I believe this strategy can apply not only to war but to life itself. This is a basic leadership statement. If you close your eyes and open your mind you will hear the true meaning behind these words which is “be a leader”, make sound and timely decisions but most important be clear and decisive on your instructions and don’t back down.

This is a formula that can and will work in today’s environment for sure. Sure, for all intents and purposes this was meant to be a guide to train military leaders in the “Art of War” but as you flip through the pages you will find out that it’s much more than that. If you are any type of leader especially a military leader this is your be, know, do book. This is your manual of instruction for the future. This is the one book that you definitely need to add to your archives. Just the basics alone can improve on skills that are sometimes either overlooked or untrained in today’s military but are still relevant. When I enter the Army a long time ago, there was a great deal of focus on military movement and movement drills, the “Blue Book” written by Friedrich von Steuben was our best friend but this is not the case today.

This art form is obsolete which has caused major debacles from the smallest spectacles such as graduations where the damage is minimal to major deployments were casualties are plentiful. So much has changed since the “Blue Book” was written. If we as leaders would implement a few of Sun Tzu teachings as far as “the Army on the March and Moving The Force” he describes the different situations in which an army finds itself as it moves through new enemy territories, and how to respond to these situations. Much of this section focuses on evaluating the intentions of others.

The book the Art of War is not just male or female book it’s a leader’s book. A leader is not subjected to just male or female. This is for any and everyone in the leadership business or anyone who is looking to be a leader in life period. I would even recommend this reading for anyone who is trying to better themselves or who are trying to do something positive with their life, I guarantee this book can only do one thing and that is help.

The best this about Sun Tzu and Great Captains Unveiled is that both books lay out in full detail the principles of strategy, tactics, maneuvering, communication, and supplies; the use of terrain and fire power for their respective era. They all allowed me to see how much alike but on the same token how much different they were, so I could make my own conclusions in the end.

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