According to Wade (2006), Art of War is Chinese earliest military theory, tactics, and strategies that originated from Sun Tzu, who was re-known military general. Sun Tzu is said to serve in king Wu’s army and is applauded for capturing Ch’u capital of Ying and success in states of Ch’i and Chin. Art of War provides strategy for planning, organizing, and conducting war. According to Tsu the most important issues when you are in war are adequate and proper defense, and looking for opportunities to attack and defeat your enemy. Tzu maintains that you can defeat your enemy without engaging in war. Therefore, thoughtful strategies are important because compromise enemy without engaging in real war.
Sun Tzu’s Approach to Strategy
Tzu takes prepositions that strategy depends on the following issues. First suggests arrangement of plans. Sun Tzu believes that the art of war is vital and arrangement of plans is very important. It is very important to consider five issues during the plan arrangement. These are moral law, Heaven, Earth, the commander, and method and discipline. Tzu regards moral law to be very important for rallying people to support the leader. Moral law ensures support of leader without consider livelihood. Heaven signifies the seasons of the year and Earth comprises the day to day challenges in life. Commanders are virtues and wisdom of a leader. Discipline and method are organizing the army. Arranging plans is a key issue according to Tzu, since leaders who make good calculations win the war, thus generals who are defeated usually make very few plans before engaging in war. Leaders should understand that before engaging in any kind of war, it is always important to make good initial preparation. Tzu summarizes it by saying that adequate preparation leads to the victory.
Second strategy according to Tzu is operations of war. When waging the war, make sure you use the least expenditures because high consumptions will strain the resources of the state. Tzu says that it is important not to keep armies in battle for a long time because they will become weak and exhausted. Cleverness is also very important issue in the war, Tzu cautions to not make unnecessary haste on the battle ground. In war, the main objective of any soldier is to win the battle. Leaders possess people’s fate, thus nation depends on whether the leader is strong and visionary or not, moreover peace in the country depends on leaders.
Attack by stratagem is a third issue of strategy according to Tzu. In a strategy of war ensure you capture army and disable it, furthermore to fight and win all battles in the war according to Tzu is important to defeat the enemy army without actually fighting. Skillful leaders incur minimal expenses to the war as they win the battles without fighting. Concerning enemy attack Tzu maintains popular saying «if you know the enemy well and know yourself, you need not to fear hundred battles. If you know yourself well but not your enemy you will win battles but you will also suffer defeat». If you don’t know yourself and enemy, you will always suffer a defeat in any battle.
Strategy also requires tactical dispositions and good fighters that are not thinking about the possibility of a defeat. The process of defeating enemy lies within the fighter’s fortunes but the chance of defeating enemy lies with enemy. Moreover, good fighter puts strategies that make the enemy difficult to win. Good strategies should be always laid in what a person does.
Energy is also an important strategy according to Tzu, it is vital for a leader to make enough effort always be exerted in order to propel to the victory. Winning a battle depends on efforts exerted; furthermore utilization of energy is crucial in the battle.
Another strategy occurs in understanding of weak and strong points of your enemy. Tzu says that if you want to succeed in battle, attack the areas which have not been defended. You will gain an advantage when you know strong places of your opponent, furthermore you get a bigger advantage in a battle when your opponents do not understand your strongest and weakest points. You are in advance when you take advantage over the enemy’s weakest points. Therefore, in war enemy should never understand your weakest places and specially your tactics.
Good strategy is varying your tactics. A leader who understands the importance of varying tactics know how to organize the war, moreover a good leader makes considerations on the possible shortcomings and put plans for likely solutions. A good leader puts up different strategies so that if one fails there are alternatives to adopt, in case of a crisis we should always be ready to change strategies and go for opportunities that are best for us.
Most Important Issue in Strategy According to Tzu Sun
According to Tzu always predict consequences of your decision so you can plan and carry out successful strategy. In everything you do always consider going for maximum gains and minimum losses. Given an opportunity to eliminate your opponent before you go for the goal, when you have an advantage over your enemy ensure you exploit that opportunity. Do not let your enemy predict your plans since he will have the advantage of understanding your strategy and will prevent you. Understand your enemy well so that when he is weakened it is an opportunity for you to attack. Do not be afraid to take any strategies but first understand the opportunities that it will give.
Points That Managers Can Use to Improve Their Performance
Insights provided in the Art of War can be used by managers to improve their performance. These points are uprightness of the mind, self respect, self control, and wisdom. Uprightness of the mind enables managers to control all activities; upright minds make sound decisions which are very important in performance. Creativity, innovation, and inventions are the result of sound minds. Managers who possess these values are able to understand all the operations and comprehend problems before they become a crisis. As a manager, I will use this value to improve on organization’s creativity and innovation as I will come up with the efficient way of doing things.
Self respect and self control are also important values that managers should be possessing as this enables them to co-exist well with their workers. Proper handling of worker motives them to work harder because they feel valued, this translates to improve performance. Self respect and self control lead to a good relationships and communication between managers and workers. This leads to efficiency and effectiveness of the work. As manager, I will use this value to ensure that my workers are treated well, I will also set a good example to my workers who will emulate my way handle them. This leads good worker to worker relationship which translates to harmony in a work place.
Wisdom is an important value discussed by Sun Tzu. Managers should be wise so that they can make right judgments and decisions, everyday operations of the organization call upon managers to make wise decisions. Proper decisions cause better operations which lead to the improvement. Thus, wisdom enables me to make right decisions and judgments.