“Sun Tzu said:
The art of war is of vital importance to the state.
It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.
Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”
Okay. So you aren’t at war. Necessarily.
If we’re lucky, our projects are peaceful and uneventful. We sign the contract, do the work, get paid what we’re owed, and everyone walks away smiling. Those are the good projects – the good days. But they can’t all be good days.
We don’t actually know a lot about Sun Tzu, the alleged author of the ancient Chinese text, ‘The Art of War.’ But we know that there is some interesting wisdom to his words.
We teach that a good organization is built well enough that we generate ‘A players,’ rather than relying on finding experts outside our doors – that we can succeed with the team we have, with the right tools and processes.
Legend has it, Sun Tzu gained his place as the King’s most trusted general when the King challenged him to prove his treatises, by training a harem of royal courtesans to form an elite guard. Sun Tzu understood that a well trained, motivated force is the product of a general who understands the minds of his people.
We teach that everyone in your organization has unique talents and strengths, and that by helping each individual to find the things they are uniquely qualified to do, we keep our teams happy while we create a powerhouse of productivity.
Sun Tzu believed that a good fighting force will move toward victory as a round stone rolls down a hill and a square one will come to rest. He knew that by harnessing the natures of each soldier, a fighting force has momentum on its side.
We teach that it is easier to stop a fire from starting than it is to put one out, that the greatest strength you can find, as a modern day leader of your force, is to set your feet right before you ever sign the initial contract.
Sun Tzu said “the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.” He believed that the power to secure ourselves against defeat was in no one’s hands but our own.
In fact, as we read through ‘The Art of War,’ we realized that much of what Sun Tzu said lines up with what we teach. So we decided to teach ‘The Art of War.’
We’re developing a training series based on Sun Tzu’s ancient writings – over the course of four sessions, we’ll read ‘The Art of War’ in its entirety, and talk about how Sun Tzu’s teachings do (and don’t!) apply to construction, and business in general today. Watch our training schedule, for this interesting look at how literature from as long ago as the 4th century can impact our own path to victory and success!