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Sun Tzu - Art of War
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Sun Tzu - Art of War

Sun Tzu said:
A superior leader who calculates
the distance or proximity of dangers
and obstructions

and move with confidence anywhere in
his environment, is on the path to victory.

Six positions

Sun Tzu said:

These are the types of situational positions:

1. Easy   2. Difficult   3. Neutral   4. Narrow
5. Dangerous    6. Distant terrain

1. Easy terrain
Accessible to both you and enemy and those who occupies higher ground on this terrain has an edge over the opponent.

2. Difficult terrain
Areas which are easy to enter but difficult to withdraw later. If opponent is unprepared, those who move first will win.

If the opponent seems prepared, those who move first will not win. Since it is difficult to withdraw, there is no advantage.



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3. Neutral terrain
Areas where both you and your enemy find difficulty to launch an offensive. Despite any advantage, do not move first.

It is better to withdraw and allow the enemy to pursue you and take advantage by attacking when half the enemy force is drawn into such terrain.

4. Narrow  terrain

Occupy such terrain first and wait for the enemy to come. If enemy forces occupied such terrain, do not pursue and lure them with retreat.

5. Dangerous terrain
Areas where you are most vulnerable. So try to occupy the higher ground and lie in wait for the enemy. If opponent is first to occupy, never pursue and lure with a retreat.

6. Distant Terrain
Areas where both forces are equal and difficult to provoke a challenge. A challenge will not be advantageous.

These six types of position
terrain must be studied carefully
and understood well by all commanders.


Six Strategic Mistakes
Sun Tzu said:

An army may suffer as a result of:

1. Flight

2. Collapse

3. Insubordination

4. Disintegration

5. Disorder

6. Desertion.

They are not due to natural catastrophes, but the errors of leaders.


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1. Flight:
Other condition being equal, one confronts another ten times more powerful.

2. Insubordination:
Capable troops led by weak officers.

3. Collapse:
Capable officers leading weak troops.

4. Disintegration:
Resentful and disobedient officers decide to fight the enemy without the approval of their commanders.

5. Disorder:
When commanders are not firm and cannot give clear instructions, resulting in poor discipline. And strategy is deployed illogically.

6. Desertion:
The commander has poor judgment, pitting a small force against a large one and the strategy is flat and unfocused.

Commanders must be held responsible
for these six causes of defeat.

They must be carefully studied and understood.



Superior Leadership
Sun Tzu said:

Terrain can help put one's army in an advantageous position. But it is superior commanders that puts the advantage to good use by calculating the distance or proximity of dangers and obstructions.

Those who employ this knowledge can win with the certainty of victory. Those who do not employ this knowledge, challenge with certainty of defeat.

Therefore, if there are no calls for a challenge but victory is a certain, then a challenge must be made.

If there are calls for challenge but defeat is certain, then a challenge must not be made.

A good general advances not because he wants fame or retreat without avoiding blame and acts with the welfare of the people and organization at heart.

He who does not seek personal glory
or avoid responsibility is a treasure
to the organization.


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