21st Century Dad
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The Art of War – Recommended Reading

February 2nd, 2009 . by 21st Century Dad

The Art of War

Riding the bus offers me ample opportunity to read. The most recent book I read was “The Art of War: In Sun Tzu’s Own Words” by Gary Gagliardi.

The Art of War is a military classic. However, most readers are business people, not military leaders. It is required reading in some business school curriculums. The lessons contained within apply to any competitive pursuit in our professional and personal lives.

It’s written in a very simple and clear style. It’s a breezy read, and almost too elementary sounding at times. The simplicity on the surface hides a richness of meaning within the text. You will need to pause and think while you read. Since the text addresses military situations, you have to do your own translation of the scenario to business or personal dealings in your own life.

You hear of people going to war too quickly.

Still, you won’t see a skilled war that lasts a long time.

You can fight a war for a long time or you can make your nation strong.

You can’t do both.

Sun Tzu’s 2000 year old military wisdom applies today, and he knew nothing of “weapons of mass destruction” or vast oil reserves in the desert.

The last chapter addresses the use of spies. You’re not managing spies, but you are gathering intelligence on your own life circumstances. You’re doing your research online. Your friend might work at a company you’re interested in working at.

I started thinking about my own life circumstances and how it feels a little bit like war. I’m separated from my child, and will be for several months. Now that my personal finances are thoroughly Chernobylized, I am forced to use Chapter 7. I can’t “go home” until the job is done. A case of MRE‘s purchased in preparation for hurricane season and stashed in the cupboard underscores the war-like feeling here even more.

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