This is one of the most well known and widely read books on strategy and warfare ever. You’ve undoubtedly heard of it, but have you ever read it.
It’s not a long book. The audio book might take you an hour or two, depending on the speed settings you choose. Reading the book might take you the same amount of time or less, depending on your reading speed.
Some of the book will have little bearing on how you conduct yourself as a leader. However, there are plenty of lessons in the book that, while written for the strategy and tactics of war, have a practical application in business.
The Art of War puts enormous stress on the importance of strategy in warfare, and the same can be said for business.
Here are a handful of useful lessons from Sun Tzu:
“Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.”
“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
“Only enter battles you know you can win.”
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”
“A skilled general leads his army, as if he was leading a single man by the hand.”
Sun Tzu tapped into something, many years before we had project teams working together on a Powerpoint deck. Long before the idea of company culture or conflict resolution were a thing.
The context may be different, but the lessons are sound.