Leadership Lessons from Sun Tzu

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Sometimes we find leadership lessons in the most unlikely place.  As a parent I sometimes see parallels in leadership and raising children.  As children grow they begin to ask more questions and are require different skills to influence.

I have been reading lately a short book that has been around for a long time.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a timeless classic with lessons for leaders and people from all walks of life.  Originally meant as a book of knowledge for military leaders, it has been used in many settings.

There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general

  1. Recklessness, which leads to destruction
  2. Cowardice, which leads to capture
  3. A hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults
  4. A delicacy of honor which is sensitive to sham
  5. Over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble

These five faults have been hazardous to many leaders.  I know I have been afflicted with a few.  At times I have been reckless and it was definitely destructive.  When we don’t thoroughly prepare for an assignment and try to go forward anyway, we see the result is not what we hoped.

All of us have either had a hasty temper at times or run into people with a hasty temper.  Just last week anyone watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions saw this first hand.  The wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys was not having the game he wanted, Dez Bryant was playing poorly.  On the other team Detroit’s Calvin Johnson was playing a great game.  Dez Bryant was yelling at his teammates and had to be restrained.  His hasty temper caused a lot of people watching to lose respect for this gifted athlete.

These five tips are good guidance even today.  Please consider sharing these with someone you know.

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