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The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu's Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work [Livre audio, Version intégrale] [Anglais] [CD]

Chin-Ning Chu , Marguerite Gavin

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CHAPTER 1
Ji (Planning)

The Elements of Strategy


Before waging a war, the five elements that govern success must be examined. Only then can a proper assessment be done.
Those five elements are: 1. Tao (moral standing or ethics); 2. Tien (timing); 3. Di (terrain or resources); 4. Jiang (leadership); 5. Fa (managing).



The first chapter of Sun Tzu’s Art of War contains the core message of the book and includes all the principles that will be discussed in the remaining twelve chapters. Sun Tzu begins this chapter with a discussion of a concept called “Ji.” (*) Ji has a broad range of meanings: plotting and planning, predicting, comparing, and analyzing. All these elements are part of “prewar” strategy—in other words, they’re the steps you must take before you take any action.

Once you can understand these planning stages of life, the rest of Master Sun’s strategies will become second nature. For this reason, I examine his first chapter in depth. According to Sun, five elements govern success and must be understood in the planning stages of any action.

TAO: Your moral standing and the motivation that drives your actions. If your moral position is pure, colleagues will be willing to go to the mat for your cause.

TIEN: Timing. There are certain times when you should take action, other times when it is far better to wait. Tien lets you know which way to decide.

DI: “Earth,” “terrain,” or “resources.” Di refers to the obstacles that you face on your journey to success. Are you traveling over level ground? In other words, is everything going smoothly at work—or is each task akin to scaling a great mountain? Di also includes the distances you need to travel to accomplish your goal.

JIANG: “Leadership.” Sun Tzu believed that a leader must be wise, trustful, benevolent, courageous, and strict.

FA: “Method” or “how to”—what we today would call managing. Your “army” must be well organized, disciplined, and responsible, and as a leader you must be strong, and merciless in your attempts to maintain order. (Notice that Master Sun has adopted the paradoxical elements of Tao and Fa as part of his strategic thinking. I will explain how you can master the balance between the two.)


Things to Keep in Mind When Adopting Strategy

Those who carefully calculate their strategies will be led to victory. Those who carelessly calculate their strategies will be led to defeat.

1. None of the strategies in Sun Tzu’s Art of War stands on its own. All the elements are interrelated. In other words, strategy is not one-dimensional; it is multidimensional.

But unfortunately, books can only deliver one point at a time. As you read, you will see how the various pieces fit together. Don’t worry, I will help.

2. Play with the power of paradox. Taoist philosophy, which Sun Tzu’s Art of War is based on, recognizes that good and evil are not opposing forces. The opposites are not absolute; rather, they are related—just as we know beauty because we have also seen ugliness and know short only as it compares to tall. In Taoism, in The Art of War, there is no right and wrong, no black and white. Every action has its time and place, and the same action will lead to different results when your opponent or other circumstances are different. Confused? Good. This is the first step to understanding The Art of War; you have to give up your attachment to clear–cut realities and instead embrace the whole spectrum of colors of paradox and ambiguity. This is the foundation of the art of war and the art of life.

3. Don’t look for rules or consistency. The only rule is, there are no rules. The stories that I use to bring The Art of War to life are provided to increase your understanding; they are not a formula to be followed. The specific subtleties of your situation—you, your opponent, your environment, your timing—will not be exactly the same as someone else’s; therefore, the outcome cannot be the same. When just one element is changed, the entire picture is altered.

As Sun Tzu wrote: “The strategy that provided you victory, may not be repeated in the same way.”

4. Strategy is not about overexercising your brain. It is about understanding your place in the world around you. Think about water flowing downstream into a lake or ocean. There is a destination, but the course will change depending on the terrain. Strategy is not about rules; it’s about adaptation.

With this by way of background, let’s delve into the five elements—Tao, Tien, Di, Jiang, and Fa—in greater detail.


1.1
Tao (Righteousness)
How to Make Winning Decisions

Armed with the sense of righteousness and the blessings from Heaven, your army becomes fearless. Thus, they are willing to live and die for the purpose of realizing victory.

Of all the five strategies that make up Sun Tzu’s Art of War, Tao is the most important. It is not by accident that Master Sun placed Tao first in his classic book on strategy.

Tao translates to “the way, rightness or morality,” but that is only the beginning. Tao is defined as the force behind all creation. As the foremost Taoist philosopher, Lao Tzu, said when describing what we in the West would call God, “I do not know what to call Her, I call Her ‘Tao.’”

(Note: In ancient Chinese writings all pronouns are implied. So I took the liberty of using the feminine form when it is appropriate.)

All things good, brilliant, righteous, creative, innovative, ecstatic, sweet, and joyful are rooted in Tao—the righteous way.


How Do I Make the Right Decisions?

The question you probably have by now is: How do I use Tao to help me succeed at work? It can be tempting to put short–term gains at our jobs ahead of doing what is righteous, but that is always a mistake. And it will almost always backfire painfully.

When one works against Tao, an ill fate awaits. As the great Chinese philosopher Mung Tzu said, “Tao always sides with the righteous.” The more Tao we possess, the happier we are, and the more success we enjoy.

The list that follows can help you in making the right decisions.


The Tao of Decision Making

1. Ask yourself: “How righteous is my objective?” Every action you take can be measured on a scale of right to wrong. Before making any decision, you must ask what is motivating you.

For example, you may covet a promotion. But simply desiring a fancy title or a corner office is not consistent or inconsistent with Tao. It is simply a desire.

Make sure you know why you want the promotion. Is it for the additional pay? More recognition? To thumb your nose at the colleague you have been competing with?

All those things can be motivating forces; it is even possible that they can provide the drive that can help you move up the corporate ladder. But unless you enjoy doing the work associated with the new position, you are ensuring your defeat.

For example, in many companies, the title of sales manager is a more prestigious one than that of salesperson. However, if you hate managing people, don’t like doing paperwork, and would much rather interact with clients, then a promotion is simply a prescription for disaster.

If you don’t have a righteous objective, eventually you will suffer. When you do the right thing for the right reason, the right result awaits.

Here’s an example of righteousness. When Joann (*) left a Fortune 100 company to join a start–up, she left a $1 million retirement package behind. But as she told me, “It was the right thing to do. I traded a million dollars for a dream.”

That dream initially required her to work longer hours for substantially less money, fewer perks, and no stock options. And in contrast with the security her former employer offered, there was no guarantee that the new company would succeed long term.

The new firm is now considered one of the best–managed, fastest–growing companies in the world—and thanks to stock options, awarded to Joann shortly after she joined the firm in recognition of the superior job she had done, she is now worth more than $10 million.

In today’s fast–moving business world, you are never going to have enough data to make a “solid” decision, one that is absolutely guaranteed to turn out to be the right choice. When in doubt, I ask a simple question: “Is this the righteous thing to do?”

Tao always leads you to victory, although sometimes the right result may take a while to appear.

2. The second question you must ask yourself before making any decision is: Is this driven by my ego? A supersized ego holds the seeds of self–destruction.

Heir to her family’s banking fortune, Alice took over the CEO spot in the business when she was in her late thirties. She was, in short, a disaster. Convinced that she knew better, she refused to listen to opinions of her senior staff that were contrary to her own.

“I grew up in this business” was her standard answer when someone questioned her decisions.

Even worse, she seemed to care more about the perks that came with her office—which included a full–time chauffeur and cook—than she did the business herself. “Make sure they know who I am” was what she told her assistant every time she went out on an errand.

It perhaps wasn’t... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

Advance Praise for THE ART OF WAR FOR WOMEN
"I know exactly what it's like to live and work as a woman in a man's world… This book reveals how to turn your dreams into reality no matter what obstacles stand in your way." --Chaka Khan, legendary entertainer

"This is the most clever, practical, and powerful philosophical self-improvement book I have ever read." --Danyi Zhang, M.D., Medical Director, Global Medical Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

"We've all witnessed the consequences of interpreting the Art of War from a strictly male point of view. The Art of War for Women offers a more intelligent design for empowering humanity." -- Linda K. Bolliger; Founder, Chair & CVO, Boardroom Bound®

"Filled with practical strategies for negotiating with co-workers, clients, children, husbands and bosses." --Leslie Morgan Steiner, Mommy Wars editor and online columnist for The Washington Post's "On Balance" working parenthood blog

“Captivating and thought-provoking.” Andrea Gregory, General Manager, Group Procurement, Air New Zealand Limited

"Effectively communicates ancient pearls of wisdom through a clear contemporary lens." --Katherine Crowley, co-author of Working With You Is Killing Me

"A must read for working women who want to take a holistic, high road approach to building their careers." --Kathi Elster, co-author of Working With You Is Killing Me --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  18 commentaires
26 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Helpful Advice for Issues that are Ages Old 29 avril 2007
Par Lisa Shea - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Back about 2,500 years ago, a Chinese man named Mr. Sun went through many hardships and lived in a world full of civil war. Seeking to gain employment with the current leader, he wrote a "military resume". This work outlined his tactics in an obscure manner so that the leader would be intrigued enough to talk to him - and would need to keep Sun around to interpret and put into action the words. That opus was of course The Art of War, and "Mister" in ancient Chinese was written as Tzu.

2,500 years later, it seems that this deliberately complex and vague work has become the guidebook for men and women in all aspects of life. Its advice on how to approach a problem, how to deal with adversity and how to handle the whims of fate are as valid today as they were back then. People are still jealous, deceitful, and harsh. Businesses still undercut each other. Co-workers still back-stab to get ahead. The problems that Sun Tzu wrote about are problems we face today. The answers, in essence, are the same.

Chin-Ning Chu, an accomplished female Chinese business strategist, has taken on this work in a fresh light. Yes, the tactics are great for men facing battles in a male world - but in modern times, women have stepped up to gain their stage. A revolution not seen for thousands of years is taking place, where women are educated, can vote, have full and equal rights alongside men. As they say in the movies, with great power comes great responsibility. For perhaps the first time in history, it is no longer enough to blame the glass ceiling, the upbringing, the pressures of the world for our success or failure. We have - more than perhaps any generation which came before us - the ability to take the reins in our hands and give it our very best shot.

That's the straight-from-the-hip advice provided by the book. With numerous examples, we hear how women claimed they were helpless and unfairly turned down for promotions and advancement, when investigation found that these women actually sabotaged their own chances. Life isn't always fair, but in order to succeed in whatever arena you choose - family life, charity work, the boardroom - you have to do your very best to shine. Success won't be handed to you just because you think you deserve it. You need to be your own most vocal advocate - and to do that promotion in a way most in line with the atmosphere you are in.

The book is realistic. If you've got a nasty co-worker that is always undermining you, various techniques will be offered to help you overcome the situation. However, in the end, it may be best to find another job. You might claim that the job is perfect for you - but a job is a complex combination of many factors, which includes the people you work with. Another job will be *more* perfect because its combination is more in line with your path for yourself.

You also get a message echoed in many other current releases, which is to make sure the path you're on is one you really *want* to be on, deep down. People strive to be top in business because it's expected of them, not necessarily because it will make them personally happy. If you'd rather be home with the kids, running a small business from your home office, then find a way to make that work. It is critical that your daily life reflects your dreams and goals if you want to be truly happy, for your family and friends around you to share in that joy, and to find a real measure of success.

I found a few of the sections to be a bit extreme. One area talks about sexual harassment and says that women get offended by a pat on the shoulder. Perhaps some women do - but I don't! I find encouraging physical contact like that to be an important part of our society. It's very sad if we've gotten to the point that patting someone on the shoulder as a congratulation is grounds for legal action.

In general, though, I found a lot of helpful advice in here. At its very core, the entire book is a reminder that nothing is new under the sun. Issues that we find pressing in our current modern world were just as important 2,500 years ago. People are simply the way they are. By reading through the wisdom of the ages, we can help make our own world one which are are proud to live in, and our path one we are happy to follow.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Sun Tzu as You've Never Seen Him 22 avril 2007
Par Michael P. Maslanka - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
There are so many of these books. Sun Tzu for this, Sun Tzu for that, Sun Zu for a landscaper, that I thought several times before buying yet another. But the book is slim, so I bought. Glad I did. Chu gets to the point: a woman needs to pick whether she wants to be Cinderella or a CEO, but she can't be both(Sun's advice to know yourself); don't blame discrimination for not moving ahead even if real( pick your battles and don't pull the litigation trigger mindlessly); a jealous co-worker trying to undermine you, then "slap her twice the first time she steps out of line"(as Sun wrote, "keep your plan as dark as the night/when you move/be as unpredictable as the thunderbolt."). Always keep in mind that your goals and decisions must be righteous---do the right thing for the right reason. This is not cuddly advice(been dating a guy for several years and he won't marry you? Read her section on the Tao of Closing the Deal for both personal and business advice. ) She makes clear that Sun must be read as a whole, that each section of the Art of War compliments the other. A welcome addition to the literature.
25 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Slanted version of ancient book, with contrived examples. 16 juin 2009
Par Diverse - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The author takes the ancient book "The Art of War" and contorts it's essence for a female audience. When the author's reinterpretation of Sun Tzu's ideas are followed, they always work. The obvious audience slant and the "it never fails" statements make the book average.

The strategies in The Art of War are based on Taoism. Taoism's main goal is "To be in harmony with the Universe, with Tao." Sun Tzu applied war strategies using Taoist principles, and came up with The Att of War. So, a lot of this "..for Women" version is based on being 'In Harmony' with The Tao.

The books examples succeeded in the person getting exactly what they wanted 100% of the time, on all levels.
Example: In chapter 3, the author says "Actions must be in harmony with the Tao." Then she gives an example: "Amanda worked for a large corporation, but the job wasn't "right" for her. So Amanda left a $1million dollar severance/pension to join a high-risk startup. Amanda did this because she knew it was the "right" thing to do. Even though the move was very risky, Amanda worked hard and made $10million.".
In another example, a female executive was angry because she only got a $2000 bonus. So she quit. She then created a company and made 10x her old salary.

The problem with the book is that the strategies imply that following your emotions (the Tao) ALWAYS results in peace, success and wealth. The author never gives a single example that doesn't succeed on all levels: emotionally, ethically and financially. This book would be more truthful to give an example like "Amanda's unease about the actions of her boss and coworkers made quitting the right thing to do. Unfortunately, Amanda's ethically correct action resulted in her not succeeding financially. The job market was tight, and Amanda couldn't find another position. She tried to start a company, but getting clients was difficult, and the business wasn't successful. But, Amanda acted correctly in accordance with The Tao, did what she thought was best. Amanda is at peace with her decision, even if it failed financially."

If the author wanted to be even more truthful, she would also include an example like "Amanda watched her coworker's actions and judged them unethical. Since unethical action is not in accordance with The Tao, Amanda quit. But perception is prone to error, and Right Action is not always obvious. Amanda later learned that she didn't have all the information, and that she misjudged the situation, causing her a lot of financial problems and a stain on her reputation. Understanding the correct actions to follow The Tao is difficult and confusing, and understanding The Way is not obvious. but Amanda did the best she could, and now is better at perceiving Correct Action in accordance with The Tao."
The author implies that every person has perfect judgment and is always working with complete, accurate information.
Examples that include all probable outcomes, and not just the best ones, would be "in harmony with the Tao of this book", because this book's theme is making decisions that create peace within you, as opposed to concentrating solely on winning. This book doesn't advocates a ruthless cut-throat, win-at-all-costs approach, it advocates the opposite. Yet the examples result in always winning.

The author states that if you follow your emotions (the Tao), you ALWAYS succeed financially as well. And that isn't true in real life. Taking high-risk usually results in failure. That's why it's high-risk. Taoism isn't a cosmic Santa Claus, that rewards you for good behavior. To imply different isn't honest.

The 2nd half of the book is a long diatribe about how men have historically destroyed the earth, and declaring "The 21st Century as the Century of Women!". She then makes accusations about how violence, destruction and thick-headedness have been the rule, and these are all caused by men. She basically declares a Fatwah against men. This part is embarrassing, as she makes broad generalizations and baseless claims. Her proof consists of examples like "I went into a store, and the men weren't helpful, but a women was." So, if you're in the mood for a rousing "Go Girl!" speech, set up with the requisite enemy to spur passion and anger, then you'll love this part of the book.

Overall, the book has flashes of insight that make it somewhat interesting. But the examples she uses to clarify though are one-sided, and her gender bias is over the top. I got much more out of this version of 'The Art of War': The Art of Strategy: A New Translation of Sun Tzu's Classic The Art of War
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A woman's translation for women of the original Art of War that has been in print for centuries. 1 mai 2007
Par Jeff Lippincott - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I enjoyed reading this book. It didn't set my world on fire, but it was fairly well written and easy to follow. I don't like being told too much what I'm going to be told later. The author did a little more of this than I usually put up with. I would have liked the book better if it had just said what it wanted to say.

It contained 13 chapters as follows:

1. Planning: The Elements of Strategy

2. Doing Battle: Speedy Victory

3. Strategy: Know Thyself & Others

4. Disposition: Win First, Then Fight

5. Momentum: Use Timing to Generate Momentum

6. Real & Unreal: Illusion is the Other Side of Reality

7. Conflict: Don't Show Your Hand

8. Imagination: See Things No One Has Seen

9. Managing the Troops: The Principles of Management

10. Terrain: Move According to Your Environment

11. Nine Battlegrounds: Be More Competitive by Doing Less

12. Attack by Fire: Fireproofing Yourself

13. Espionage

If you have goals and dreams, then you may find this book helpful when trying to put together a strategy for trying to reach them. It will remind you that you have strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your life. And a little strategic planning can help you solve your problems in an efficient manner.

My favorite chapter was #1. The six elements discussed there were:

>> Righteousness: How to make winning decisions.

>> Timing: From universal to personal timing.

>> Resources: Turn your liabilities into assets.

>>Leadership: A state of mind.

>>Managing: It's all about execution.

>> Deception: Appear weak when you are strong.

The book is just as applicable to men as it is to women. But the author's target audience is women. Everything in the book is written as though the author is speaking to a woman. 4 stars!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 5 star book! 12 octobre 2007
Par Elizabeth Boltuc - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
As a women in the midst of working towards changing careers and moving up in the work place, I found this book very useful. This book has made me think about how I present myself at work, what I really want to do with my life, and what I need to do to get there. This book is not at all about feel-good, mushy things, it has us look at our strengths and weaknesses and strategize to succeed. I would recommend this to any women that is career-orientated. In fact, I will be getting this for several friends for Christmas.
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