Recent Sun Tzu title
- From the China books website
LEADERSHIP: A DOSE OF SUN ZI
Wriiten by Sayling Wen Illustrated by Tsai Chih Chung
Translated by Ho Lai Lin
What are the signal leadership qualities in a general who can lead his
men wholeheartedly with him to battle and even death? Musing on this
question, the author applies the wisdom of a 2,000-year-old Chinese
military classic to modern management leadership. He shows how
leadership excellence, whether in war or business, lies in having
the right balance of "heart" and "head" qualities - which he
elaborates upon and substantiates with personal anecdotes and
historical examples. Steeped in the Chinese classics not as dead
letter but as living spirit, and heading an enterprise over 10,000
strong. The author is no armchair theoretician. He shares his
insightful analysis in simple language without foregoing logical
rigour. This brilliant work serves as a relaxing read promising many
illuminating insights. And it speaks not only to the busy corporate
executive, but also to Everyman, for the new society of the dawning
millennium seeks a leader in each of us, even if only of our own self.
# pages: 99
PAPER ISBN 981-229-163-6 Order code: 9812291636 Price (USD):
Sayling Wen, a Taiwan entrepeneur and author has come out with
"Leadership: A dose of Sun Zi" available from China Books and
periodicals and Illustrated by Tsai Chih Chung (ISBN 981-229-163-6)
It's an interesting book, well written, but not quite as advertized.
It contains almost as much Laozi and Zhuangzi (as well as some
Confucius) as Sun Zi.
On the minus side, aside from not really being a thorough explication
of Sunzi, there is one passage where he seriously misinterpret Sunzi;
Sunzi speaks of spies in two dynasties that fell as instrumental in
their falling, Wen interprets their presence in the succeeding dynasty
as being a seeking for continuity, completely at variance with Sunzi
it seems to me.
The Zhuangzi story of the man who wanted to sell hats to the people of
Yueh who do not wear hat is a bit perplexing. He portrays it both as
being foolish and as being an opportunity (they don't wear hats, so
you are wasting your time; they don't wear hats, so you are entering
virgin territory). He describes it as being entirely up to the
mindset of the individual without determining whether there are
objective details that would tell whether it was advantageous or not.
Oddly this section appears in the commentary on evaluating terrain.
Sunzi, it seems to me, does not say that death ground becomes life
ground depending on your attitude (although, of course, by recognizing
it, placing your opponent on death ground makes it death ground for
him, but life ground in contrast for you.).
On the plus side, Wen has the advantage of having been in leadership
positions and seeing what of Sunzi works and does not work from
personal experience, unlike, for instance, David Li's work which
although he was a business professor, does not seem to have had the
same opportunity for putting Sunzi into practice (oddly, despite his
academic background, Li's work does not contain very much in the way
of examples from business, whereas Wen's work gives several personal
examples of applying what he is talking about.)
Overall though an interesting work on leadership, although I am not
certain that I would market it as from the point of view of Sunzi.
Rather, it is more leadership lessons from WenZhuangLaoKungSun Zi
However, like Griffith's work, it at least have the assurance that
when the author talks about examples, he has at least some practical
experience in applying them. However, those examples are not clearly
integrated with the Sunzi text: you do not have the feeling that the
author had Sunzi explicitly in mind when he resolved this situations.
It is very easy to sit back after the fact and apply whatever
analytical schema and say your experience is an example of this or
A good popular management technique book but not really a Sunzi
Has anyone come across a book that delivers on the promise of applying
Sunzi to business rather than simply pasting Sunzi tags onto generic
Management 101 experiences?