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Sun Tzu & The Art Of Leadership

Apr 9, 2019 9:07:40 AM / by Travis Jacobs


The 7 Leadership Factors Crucial To Success

  1. Which of these two leaders has greater character & integrity
  2. Which of these two leaders has the most ability ... which leader is the better listener
  3. Which leader has the advantage of terrain & natural forces
  4. Which team is more disciplined
  5. Which team is stronger & more united
  6. Which team is more highly trained ... Which leader is the better coach
  7. Which team has greater consistency in both reward and punishment


3 Ways A Leader Can Bring Misfortune To His Troops

  1. By commanding the troops to to advance or retreat being ignorant of the fact that they can't obey ... this is called hobbling the army
  2. When ignorant of military affairs & to participate in their administration
  3. When ignorant of command problems to share in the exercise of responsibilities ... Bypassing the chain of command


5 Circumstances In Which Victory May Be Predicted

  1. He who knows when he can fight & when he cannot will be victorious 
  2. He who understands how & when to use both large & small teams will be victorious 
  3. He whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious
  4. He who is prepared and lies in wait for an enemy who is not will be victorious
  5. He whose officers are able & not interfered with by the chief will be victorious


5 Elements Of Leadership & Strategy

1.  Measurement
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Terrain
  • Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Patience & Timing


2. Estimation Of Quantities 

  • Troops
  • Supplies
  • Equipment & Tools
  • Money


3. Calculations

  • Skill & Expertise
  • Threats ... Obstacles ... Risks ... Challenges
  • Level Of Difficulty
  • Terrain
  • Routes
  • Escape Routes
  • Strategy ... Tactics ... Logistics
  • Contingency Plans
  • The simplest plan wins


4. Comparisons

  • Morale
  • Strength
  • Experience & Expertise
  • Discipline
  • Training
  • Leadership
  • Trust
  • Respect


5. Chances Of Victory

  • Overcoming Obstacles & Threats
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability & Flexibility
  • Murphy's Law
  • Superior Execution
  • Humble & Competent Leadership
  • Open & Honest Communication
  • Focus & Discipline
  • Training
  • Planning & Preparation


The Leader's First Task Is To Organize The Army & Train Them

  • Build A Team
  • Assign Roles & Responsibilities
  • Employ competent officers & leaders
  • Organize Your Strengths To Make Your Weaknesses Irrelevant
  • Don't Teach Fish To Climb Trees
  • Coach ... Train ... Mentor


The 6 Faults Of A Leader

1. Recklessness, which leads to destruction

2. Cowardice, which leads to indecision and a loss of trust & respect

3. A Hasty Temper, which can be provoked by insults

4. A Delicate Honor, which is sensitive to shame

5. A fragile & inflated Ego, inhibits you ability to lead & alienates you from your team

6. Favoritism & Special Treatment, which divides your team & causes infighting


6 roads to failure

1. Insubordinate Troops

2. Strong Troops ... Weak General 

3. Courageous Officers ... Ineffective Troops

4. Senior Officers are angry and insubordinate ... don't understand the enemy ... rush into battle

5. Weak General 

  • Lack Of Discipline
  • Inconsistent Rules
  • Guidance & Instructions Are Ignorant

6. The General Is Unable To Estimate His Enemy


Adaptability To The Terrain Is The Greatest Advantage In Battle

  • Estimate The Enemy
  • Calculate Distances
  • Determine The Degree Of Difficulty


3 Situations When A General Is Unfit For Command

1. Ignorant of the terrain 

2. Fails to make use of local guides

3. Can't work with other teams ... Ignorant of their plans


The Wise Coach ... Experienced Quarterback

The reason the wise coach and the experienced quarterback conquer the enemy and their achievements surpass these of ordinary men is.

  • Knowledge
  • Insight
  • Planning
  • Preparation
  • Discipline
  • Training


Tactics ... Plan Ahead ... Don't Make It Up As You Go

Be Decisive & quick ... but make well informed decisions


Know The Enemy ... Know Yourself



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Topics: Leadership, Communication, Design, Fail, Innovation, Execution, Strategy, Tactics, Team, Winning, Discipline, ExtremeOwnership, Focus

Travis Jacobs

Written by Travis Jacobs

Travis is the president of JA Simulations, a product design & development firm in Denver Colorado. We help clients solve problems & get to market faster with innovative & high quality products

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