Innovator and blogger
It’s time for a bit of tough love. The health crisis happened and will have ripple effects for months and years. But the time to start building for the future is today and we need to be planting the green shoots of recovery at home.
This is a book that has transcended generations of business leaders and high-functioning people. This is only because of the power of the lessons. It may well be my favourite book of all time.
‘The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting’ − Sun Tzu
Although the book lends itself to a more aggressive style by its very name, it is about reframing yourself that everything in your life can be seen as a war.
Even attempting to create a positive habit like running is a war: this becomes a war against your unhealthy tendencies or against laziness. The book assists with techniques to conquer the war or to not even fight it. If everything is a war, are you prepared? Can you win without even going to battle?
Everything is war.
- Principle 1: Winning quickly
- Never let things go on longer than they need to. This lesson pertains to war in that the more time you waste, the higher the likelihood that your enemy will be prepared for you. Do not let problems simmer, do not let tasks stay undone for ages. List your most significant challenges and attack them with purpose.
- Principle 2: Leadership traps
- Being a leader is fraught with possible downsides. Balancing victory and the life of a soldier in war is tough. Take ownership of your team and the mission. Also, do not let the position of leadership go to your head, your ego is the enemy. You will be required to battle your temper and your own honour. Should these leadership traps be avoided, the road to growing a successful team becomes incrementally easier.
- Principle 3: Endless possibility
- Sun Tzu knew victory was not limited to one possibility. He understood that various factors could influence the path and so he spent immeasurable time in the planning phase. When you do happen upon a challenge, do not give up. Think through all the steps and potential outcomes and be creative and relentless in your planning. You must game out every scenario and the potential offshoots of each decision, of your own and the ramifications that follow.
Should you read this? If strategic thinking is an essential part of your role or a passion, this book is a must. I always suggest you read the book if this does grab your attention and use this as a snapshot of a mini ‘cheat sheet’.