This renowned Chinese book on warfare, The Art of War by Sun Tzu is inspiring even though it has been written way back in ancient times in China.

Some of the ancient wisdom is still applicable because Sun Tzu outlined some core principals to win in endeavors that involve dynamic competition with human involvement.

On people, he emphasized the importance of getting to know yourself, your team as well as your enemy’s management and their team. On management style, he is on the point about fairness. He stated that one way to determine whether the other side’s management is effective is to see if the rewards and punishments are consistent and applicable to all members. Spot on.

He also emphasized on understanding the environment which the war operates in and affecting variables, such as the weather, to determine the best tactic. Use these factors to your advantage according to your strengths and weaknesses and the amount of resources you have. The guiding principals to adopt tactics should be based on the condition which you operate in, instead of forcing your tactics through, which surprisingly, some people do because they don’t want to be seen inconsistent and must act as they once said. In the long run, both you and your team loose.

These are just snippets of the principals from the book and he has more wisdom to offer in The Art of War. A commendable read for anyone wanting to improve their management skills or decision making!