Adrian's Reviews > The Art of War

The Art of War by Sun Tzu
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bookshelves: classic-books, y-asian-classics, non-fiction, zz-owned-books

Now I was a senior manager for a number of years and walked the walk as well as talked the talk, I went on many training courses to learn management techniques and was even trained as a trainer for Stephen Covey as well as Tom Peters, so I am more than aware of these techniques, BUT I had never heard of Sun Tzu and apparently he is de rigeur now.
Well all I can say is its not a patch on Covey, I found it boring and somewhat unintelligible albeit interesting, but relevant to management techniques, what ??
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Quotes Adrian Liked

Sun Tzu
“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Reading Progress

April 17, 2016 – Shelved
April 17, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 30, 2016 – Shelved as: classic-books
May 30, 2016 – Shelved as: y-asian-classics
January 10, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction
February 8, 2017 – Shelved as: zz-owned-books
December 28, 2017 – Started Reading
December 29, 2017 –
page 28
January 4, 2018 –
page 36
January 5, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I’m confused why you’d think a book written in the 5th century BC about military strategies has anything to do with business management techniques. Is this a new “thing?” Using military strategies in the workplace? I must be old. I remember when “The HP Way” was cool.

Adrian Hi Nancy, well that is it exactly, my youngest sons partner saw me reading it and commented on “management techniques” and then my son chipped in with the fact he’d been advised to read it on his Project Management training. So yes apparently it is the latest thing in management training. So I don’t reckon either of us are old as to me this isn’t a management technique 😬
I did in Search of Excellence and also 7 habits which are 10 and 5 years respectively before the HP way. But all 3 are still relevant I think 🤔

message 3: by Derek (new)

Derek Nancy, Sun Tzu was the "in thing" with MBA types before Stephen Covey came along.

My wife's a big fan of Covey; probably not so much Sun Tzu :-)

But Adrian, there's no way that Covey is before the HP Way. There's a book called "The HP Way" from 1995 (and I know my wife's copy of 7 Habits is from before then), but the HP Way dates to at least 1966:

Adrian Ah thanks for sorting that Derek, it appears that Sun Tzu is still the "in thing". And I only knew the HP Way from after Covey and Peters. The only thing I remember from 66 (being English) was England winning the World Soccer tournament.

message 5: by Derek (new)

Derek Oh, don't bring that up. The whole country seems to think that they could do it again this year. As good a chance that the Toronto Maple Leafs can win the Stanley Cup (which, come to think of it, they last did the year after England last won the World Cup—just before I moved from England to Canada).

message 6: by Nancy (new)

Nancy The HP Way is long before Covey. It’s just how Bill and Dave ran HP from the very start. Sadly I doubt there is much left of “The HP Way” with what’s left of the original HP. It was at least one time a great place to work. I’ve done 7 Habits and I like Covey. I think his ideas apply in and outside of the work place.

message 7: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Derek the book The HP Way is mostly how Bill and Dave met, started the company and how it grew. Not until ch 7 does he mention their philosophy on people and ch 11 talks about HP’s management style. There’s only 12 chapters. The book was written in 1995 but the philosophy was around in the early years as far back as 1950 if not the very beginning (1938).

message 8: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I asked my husband (who is in management for many years and taken all those required classes work makes you go to and who read this for his own personal interest) if he heard this book was being used for teaching management techniques. Without hesitating he said yes so I asked him how is it relevant. He explained that you cannot just read the book and understand the relevance. He said you need to know history and war strategies. So the only thing I got out of this conversation was that it is all about being flexible and understanding your wants and needs and the wants and needs of your enemy er I mean your employees. Seriously he gets really excited about war strategies and started talking about Genghis Khan. I had to make a quick exit before he kept going on and on and on....

message 9: by Derek (new)

Derek :-)

message 10: by Adrian (last edited Apr 29, 2019 08:50AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Adrian Nancy, well that just about sums up what my son said, and also what I got out of it. Generally, sort out a good plan and stick to it, adapt if you need to, but beat the shit out of your enemies, I mean humanely manage your employees :-)

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