Sun Tzu also rendered as Sun Zi, was a Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. The strange thing with the quotes of this general, is that they can be applied and taken into consideration in every task of our every-day lives. For today’s post, 8 out of them have been collected and analysed in such a way so to fit on an entrepreneur’s life.
- “The art of war is vital for society. It is a matter of life and death, the road that leads either to prosperity or destruction. For that reason every step must be analysed carefully”.
The same way the art of war is vital for society, your decisions are vital for your company. For that reason your measures should be taken into consideration 5 pillars of decision making, according to Tzu.
- Ethics: Be ethical. Your brand and identity are two of the most important parts of your company’s public image. Your actions need to provide services and products that evolves society and living. Only when you show respect, you can also gain it. And respect is the only reason why your customers will follow you, buy your products and finally become committed to your brand.
- Weather and Ground: By whether and ground Sun Tzu refers to the natural environment and the influence that may have to the troops. In your case, the natural environment refers to the market that you want to join. Today, with technology and globalisation market has been transformed into an easy in, easy out platform. For that reason you need to be really careful with your market entry decisions and research well before you do.
- Management: By management Sun Tzu refers to the virtues of the general, his wisdom, honesty, courage and responsibility. These are the the most important characteristics that you as a leader need to embody and defend every day.
- Dogma: This term refers to the Human Resources management and delegation issues that you will face in your every day job as a leader of your company. You need to be very careful with who you choose and the position you place them. Put aside emotion and choose strategically. Find in what your employees are good, and let them focus on that. Be open minded and always listen to them.
2. “Every war is based on misleading. When you are strong, show weakness. When you are weak, show power.”
This quote might be the most helpful for your career as an entrepreneur. When your company and you are both ready for the next step, enjoy calmness of your competitors, by not exposing your next strategic move till the very last moment. This mentality will give you the opportunity to always be one step ahead. On the other hand, when you have many problems to handle, do not expose the either. Do not provide your competitors with an emotional boost full of positiveness and self-belief. Prefer to face balanced emotions and well-weighted strategic attacks.
3. “When the army fights for a long time, the financial and material resources disappear”.
Do not fight for a long time. Competition will always be there, but your resources won’t. Despite of that fact though, participate in small wars that secures you great wins (only if necessary). Look for the opportunity carefully and do not rush. Never start the fight, but fight to win the war. You should always end what your competitors begin.
4. “When inside the troop, a climate of doubt and suspiciousness dominates, competitive troops may cause problems”
Be careful on how you manage your employees. A great leader is the one that “eats with his employees, speaks and sleeps with them”. This is the main reason why Leonidas the Spartan is known till today, as the one of the greater leader of all times. Be real, authentic, honest and always try to understand what they have in mind. Your door should always be open for them. Be caring and protect them using your experience. Recruit people that you share same values and can cooperate with.
5. “When you know your enemy and yourself, you can win 100 battles”
You need to know everything for your competition. Update your competition analysis every one or two months. Spend more on research and proactive strategies and not on fixing mistakes using reactive methods. Dedicate 1-2 hours per day on updating yourself on market changes and financial, social and political issues of your company’s concern.
6. “During old times a good warrior was establishing himself as undefeated and then were waiting for his enemy to become weak“.
Being undefeated depends on you only, while your enemy’s weakness is his own fault. Focus on you and your company. Try to always be prepared to defend yourself and not to attack. Being undefeated is a matter of defence.
7. “Managing many people it is not different than managing many”.
It is just a matter of organisation. If you cannot organise yourself, hire somebody to do it for you. A program will surely change due to unexpected reason. Imagine yourself not having one at all.
8. “Musical notes can be count by the use of fingers of the two hands. To listen though all combinations, you may need 2-3 lives”
Be creative and find combinations. When a problem occurs, try to find ways to resolve it. Use people, resources, knowledge or a combination of those. Never stop trying. The solution is close to you and you only need to discover it.