Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: Chapter 11 The Nine Situations

There are a finite number of situations we can come to battle.  With some of those situations there are clear rules.  As always the goal is to win, and winning comes by knowing your strengths and creating scenarios of certain victory.

Best Quote(s)

“18. Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.”

Nevermind the nine varieties of ground – use it as an input, but the goal is to create the actions you want to create victory.  Hold what you can that the enemy values.

“22. …Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. “

Creation comes from focus.

“32 The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.”

Standards make life easier.  Standards make groups function better.  Clearly written standards and expectations are at the core of open societies.  Writing and implementing the right standards is critical skill of leadership.

Page by Page, Screen by Screen, Swipe by Swipe

“Sun Tzu said: The art of war recognises nine varieties of ground:

(1) Dispersive ground;
(2) facile ground;
(3) contentious ground;
(4) open ground;
(5) ground of intersecting highways;
(6) serious ground;
(7) difficult ground;
(8) hemmed-in ground;
(9) desperate ground.”

40

“14 On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem. On desperate ground, fight.”

At each kind of ground, Sun Tzu tells the reader the appropriate response.

“15 Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive a wedge between the enemy’s front and rear; to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions; to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad, the officers from rallying their men.”

“18 If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: “Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.”

41

“22 Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. Keep your army continually on the move, and devise unfathomable plans.”

42

“32 The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.”

As with earlier points – this reads as if Sun Tzu were talking about manufacturing quality.  Standards define how groups expect fellow members to behave.

43

“38 At the critical moment, the leader of an army acts like one who has climbed up a height and then kicks away the ladder behind him. He carries his men deep into hostile territory before he shows his hand.”

“42 When invading hostile territory, the general principle is, that penetrating deeply brings cohesion; penetrating but a short way means dispersion.”

Sun Tzu’s influence penetrate’s Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, where he took the metaphor of invasion and applied it to modern technology marketing.

45

“56 Bestow rewards without regard to rule, issue orders without regard to previous arrangements; and you will be able to handle a whole army as though you had to do with but a single man.”

“58 Place your army in deadly peril, and it will survive; plunge it into desperate straits, and it will come off in safety.”

46

“64 Be stern in the council-chamber, so that you may control the situation.”

“65 If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.”

“66 Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear, and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.”

About flybrand1976

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1 Response to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: Chapter 11 The Nine Situations

  1. Pingback: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: Page by Page, Chapter by Chapter Review | Fred Lybrand

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