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Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers; 50 Strategic Rules
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Product Description

Organized around 50 rules for strategic thinking, The Art of War for Managers translates the strategic wisdom of Sun Tzu into powerful 10-minute lessons to enhance your business and personal success.

"Michaelson is Sun Tzu's foremost student and interpreter. He brings home the business relevance of this ancient military strategist in down-to-earth language." Al Vogl, editor of The Conference Board Magazine

"Brilliant work! The useful commentary in The Art of War for Managers brings Sun Tzu's timeless wisdom to a new level." Gen. Bill Creech, Author, The Five Pillars of TQM

Customer Reviews:

  • Terrible read; rambling unintelligible discourse
    If only there was a way to give this book NO STARS. This book reads like an eighth grade term paper. Examples are poorly developed and the writing is trite and substandard. I can't believe Adams Media has the audacity to publish this tripe and call it a book. Books are for learning.

    Some of Michaelson's brilliant insights include: "An inefficient victory is bad, but not as bad as losing -- which is extremely inefficient" and "In every game there has to be a winner and a loser." It's almost like Michealson went to the Dan Quayle school of quotes. Unfortunately, the ENTIRE book is written in the same cheesy prose. Michaelson also has no focus and the book is very poorly organized. Save your money on this one. It might be the worst book you've ever read. It certainly was for me....more info

  • Makes Difficult Material Accessible
    Michaelson has organized the book as a field manual for managers who are currently solving tactical and strategic problems. He illustrates Sun Tzu's principles with contemporary business examples and through contributions by managers who have used the principles successfully. Michaelson's comprehensive discussion of the material does far more than provide provocative quotes for a PowerPoint presentation. He puts the master on a manager's advisory board....more info
  • Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers
    Gerald Michaelson has done a masterful job in his book "Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers." In my view the book is an excellent resource that the reader can read and use as she or he likes. Let me explain. First, the book can be read in the conventional way from cover to cover. Or second, depending on one's interest, one might just read the "Art of War" text itself. Or thirdly, a reader might read only the 'Manager's Commentary.' The reader, yet again, has other choices. She or he might choose to read the 'Practical Applications' section. Still the reader might choose to concentrate on the 'Outline of Key Concepts.' And finally, one could read the various sections of Michaelson's book in any way that one would want or see fit.

    As the author says, '...the book is formulated around the understanding that strategy is a mental process." So no matter what business I might be in, the creation of this strategic mental process is what is critical, not just the list of strategic principles.

    Michaelson has created a work that allows the readers to absorb and apply in total or to absorb and apply in parts. Readers can use what they understand, what they like, or what works for them.

    Finally, this is a book that is not meant to be read just once; it is rather a source to be referred to again and again as 'new' circumstances and situations arise....more info

  • Many Questions Answered
    If you work for a Japanese company, this book is required reading. After you read and fully understand the content, the daily logic "or lack there of" you experience while working with or for the Japanese will be answered.

    I also recommend Winning the Marketing War. Author (Gerald A. Michaelson)

    A Mitsubishi Employee...more info

  • It is not easy to make the art of war work. It takes years.
    I have been reading the art of war since I was 18 years old and have been studying business for 30 years. It takes a lot of work and a good business plan to make any business, personal, or pleasure work. So don't expect miracles.

    The art of war does work and you have to work years to learn what Sun Tzu is saying. I know from experience in all the above....more info

  • unfortunately dry
    i was thrilled to see a new gerald michaelson bok on the shelf. so, i bought it with great anticipation. however, i've found it very dry. michaelson quotes sun tzu and gives quick summaries and examples from the corporate world. michaelson also features sun tzu quotes that have been interpreted by other writers and strategists. these interpretations are frequently word for word -- or darn close. for instance g.m. might quote sun tzu as saying "the sky is blue." then, underneath it, he'll feature two or three others interpreting sun tzu saying, "if you look at the sky it is blue." wow! what keen insight! i was very disappointed with this book -- it's dry. I found myself falling asleep whenever i opened it up. read "winning the marketing war" instead. my copy has been highlighted again and again and again. "winning the marketing war" offers real world advice applicable to any business. "the art of war for managers" does not....more info
  • Comprehensive translation and interpretation!!!
    For a first time reader, this book provides a good introduction to the concepts in the Art of War by Sun Tzu.

    This book briefly mentions the differences between western and eastern strategy. The book "On War" by Carl von Clausewitz is believed to be the foundation of much of the Western strategy. Clausewitzian theory concentrates on the big battle as the way to win. His work expresses so many ideas that it can be used to justify any positions and in addition, it is filled with convoluted sentences and difficult to read. On the other hand, the eastern strategist Sun Tzu's the Art of War is a masterpiece of simplicity.

    The fundamental principles of strategy are the same for all managers at all times and situations. Only the tactics are likely to change. Strategy is best defined as "doing the right thing" while tactics is "doing things right". The dividing line between tactics and strategy is indicated by the point of contact. Therefore, strategy stops at the border in war and at the HQ door in business, whereas tactics begins with contact with the enemies in war and customers in business.

    The book is divided into 2 parts.
    Part 1 is divided into 13 chapters like the original work, sharing the same title as the original translation. Each chapter provides the correlation of the teachings to the present business world, ending with examples on actual business scenarios.
    Part 2 provides a useful guide to practical applications. The practical applications are cited by real persons working in various industries, giving examples of key Sun Tzu concepts in which they have applied in their line of work.
    Finally the book ends with an outline of Sun Tzu's key concepts to aid in applications and which also serves to provide a good summary of the entire book Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

    ...more info
  • If you fail to plan - you can plan to fail ;)
    An excellent book. A very precious guide to success. It is a must read for anyone who wants to be successful in the business world. This translation of "The Art of War" is easy to understand, a real pleasure to read. Profit from Sun Tzu's wisdom and learn how to apply the strategic rules in today's business environment. Make victory the only option!...more info
  • Even More Relevant and Valuable Today

    The review which follows is of a book which I read when it was first published in 1999. I recently re-read it. Here are my reactions to it seven years later.

    Many of those who read my reviews are owners/CEOs of small businesses. Whenever I receive an e-mail from one of them asking me to recommend books which will be of greatest practical value, I always include a choice of R.L. Wing's or Samuel B. Griffith's translation of Sun Tzu's The Art of War on the list. Occasionally, someone who has read The Art of War asks for a recommendation of related sources. There are several to select from, notably The Art of Business: In the Footsteps of Giants written by Raymond T. Yeh and Stephanie H. Yeh; two books by Mark R. McNeilly, Sun Tzu and the Art of Business and Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare; and this one, which I read when it was first published and only now am I reviewing. Here are a few of the reasons for my rating of Michaelson's book.

    First, Michaelson has selected and then discusses 50 "strategic rules" suggested by Sun Tzu's classic. To facilitate and support periodic review, the key concepts are summarized on pages 169-190 and range from" Thoroughly Assess Conditions" to "Practice Counterintelligence." Don't expect any head-snappers. The greatest value of The Art of War is that it helps, indeed insists that its reader think strategically. (Please keep in mind that it was written 2,500 years ago.) Michaelson fully understands that. His purpose is to apply ancient concepts to major perils and opportunities in the contemporary.

    I also appreciate Michaelson's provision of several reader-friendly sections such as those in which he quotes a passage from The Art of War and then offers a "translation" of its relevance, followed by a "Manager's Commentary" in which he recommends appropriate application of Sun Tzu's insight. Throughout his rigorous and eloquent narrative, Michaelson also includes checklists such as the one found on page 114 when he identifies "key ingredients" which are common to all growing organizations: customer focus by creating systems that deliver perceived value; selection (i.e. hiring) of decent as well as competent people; and then training them with highly-interactive learning sessions which are both formal and on-the-job.

    Finally, I hold this book in high regard because Michaelson also includes 13 brief but insightful commentaries by senior-level executives who share their own real-world experiences. Fort example, Domminick Attanosio (senior advisor, Young and Partners, LLC) explains how a public pharmaceutical company developed a new delivery system to adjustable dosing of oral medications by following each of several of Sun Tzu's basic principles:

    "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight 100 battles with no danger of defeat."

    "Travel where there is no enemy."

    "Pursue one's strategic designs to overawe the enemy."

    "An army can be raised only when there is money at hand."

    "The general whose only interest is to protect his people and promote the best interests of his sovereign is the precious jewel of the state."

    "The enlightened rulers must deliberate upon the plans to go to battle, and good generals generally execute them,."

    "To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence."

    Obviously, it would be a fool's errand to manage by slogans but even more foolish to ignore what can be learned from sources such as Sun Tzu's The Art of War. The knowledge these sources provide can -- and should -- guide and inform the careful selection and then effective execution of appropriate strategies and tactics. Credit Michaelson with a thorough understanding and brilliant interpretation of what can be learned from arguably the world's first management consultant.

    Bravo!
    ...more info
  • Very dynamic for businessmen that are committed to success
    Mr. Michaelson displayed a rare ability to explain the Chinese version into a understandable text. Success in todays manufacturing world is hard to come by. The knowledge gained regarding marketing strategy and process improvement techniques has become very valuable in my personal career as a Materials Manager....more info
  • Managers Cookbook
    This is a helpful book for helping me deal with staff. I have learned good skills that has helped me with being with a supervisor. It is easy to read and understand....more info
  • A good but not extraordinary read
    Michaelson uses a new translation of Sun Tzu The Art of War to illustrate how the wisdom of ancient principles of combat can be applied to modern business. While much of what Sun Tzu says does not seem extraordinary or extremely profound, it might be remembered that "common sense is not so common." Though much of what Sun Tzu says might be taken for granted, it is likely human nature's propensity to ignore the obvious and the time-tested which makes Sun Tzu's work a classic. Michaelson is successful in pointing out some timeless precepts and ideas that can be applied from Sun Tzu's thought to the business world. It is also a dynamic and creative approach to an ancient text. That said, there seems to be a superficial feel to the book, as a hundred brief, different case examples of businesses (as opposed to a few in depth) don't quite illustrate with full impact the meaning and import of the wisdom of Sun Tzu's classic. So I would rate this between 3 and 4 stars - a good, but not extraordinary read....more info
  • A good way to get ahead
    Quite impressive work as it takes the basic ideas of ancient chinese warfare and applies them to today's competitive buisness market. Definitely a good read and a sure way to get ahead....more info
  • Practical Application for Sun Tzu
    Michaelson has done an excellent job of providing a clear, readable version of Sun Tzu along with his insight and application of the work. The latest version augments his previous efforts by adding more practical uses. From a strong background in strategic marketing, Jerry clearly reviews the 13 chapters of the Chinese classic. Not only does he vividly apply his expertise, he adds insight from others as well. His examples are real. Moreover, as opposed to other works, Michaelson works with the Chinese text and looks to apply it. For any manager, it is a powerful tool to access Asian strategy. For anyone who wants to examine the linkage between Asian strategy and business application, the work is essential. Easy to read and well organized as a reference, I recommend this work whole heartedly....more info
  • A required field manual for marketing war competitors.
    Michaelson's subject, predicate,and direct object style of writing in "Sun Tzu:The Art of War for Managers" makes this reading a professional must for all hands who would venture into the marketing wars. Michaelson applies Sun Tzu's ancient theories on the strategy (Doing the right thing!) and tactics (Doing things right!)to the dynamics of corporate business today.Michaelson has condensed much of the previous good information he passed in his earlier book, "Winning the Marketing War".I would recommend this latest effort by Gerald Michaelson to all young Americans entering the competitive world of business. As a former Marine, I would place it at the same level as our "Small Wars Manual" and the "Landing Party Manual", and these manuals equated to the Bible as far as I was concerned. The truth is out there, and Gerald Michaelson will help to show you the way. Semper Fidelis, Bruce M. Mac Laren Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (ret)...more info
  • Cant stop reading it!
    Ive read lots of Sun Tzu books and this one has a nice twist to it. Its very well written and most of the facts are right on the point. However, there are minor statements that I do disagree with. But the book is awesome and corret to 99%!...more info
  • Mediocre Translation
    I've read many translations of Sun Tzu and this one is the least interesting. He also misses the subtle implications of the original text....more info