The Art of War: Sun Tzu

I often give presentations on the art of persuasion. And the use of skillful persuasion is vital to success in life. But what if your best efforts at persuasion fall short? In that case you may need to rely on litigation (war) as your means of persuasion. The book THE ART OF WAR which is believed to have been written by Sun Tzu is an excellent field guide to preparing for battle in any arena. The book was written as long ago as 700 B.C. It has been referenced by military leaders from Napoleon to General Norman Schwarzkopf.

I highly recommend this book. It is divided into 13 chapters including Laying Plans, Maneuvering, and The Use of Spies. In the chapter on Maneuvering, Sun Tzu recounts the five dangerous faults of a general as follows:

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 honour which is sensitive to shame;

5. over-solicitude for his men which exposes him to worry and trouble.

This book is full of practical insights that are helpful to litigators and business leaders alike. In the coming weeks I will provide other examples from this timeless manual.

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