The Nine Strategy Elements

Sun Tzu the Art of War

Strategy Elements



The Nine strategy elements highlighted here, are what we must consider and analyse before plunging into costly fight or flight actions with people and organisations; Sun Tzu Explained in the opening of his great treaty The Art of War.

The whole Sun Tzu Art of War strategy can be summed up in two sentences:

  • What is your strategic position?
  • How to Advance that position?

The first five strategy elements deals with one's strategic position and the four remaining strategy elements are the actions and skills required to advance that position.

The five strategy elements that make up a Strategic Position are:

The Mission

Is what uniting us with all the people in the organisation and the customer that cause them to share in your goals and objectives i.e "putting a man on the moon."

The Climate

Is the timing and the changes that happens around us and provide the opportunities to advance our position. It is the trends that change your situation from moment to moment.

The Ground

The Ground is where the contest for such a position takes place. The ground provides the prize you seek to win. It defines the game you are playing, and each game with its own unique rules.

The Leadership

The Leadership is the unique quality of character and leadership that you bring to your Situation. Leadership is also the realm of decision-making and personality.

The Methods

The Method describes the skills that you master to work with other people. They are the realm of methods and techniques. By definition, strategy is itself a system.

Until we equal or exceed our opponent's score in this five elements, we do not challenge or begin our venture or even respond to our opponent.

Advancing our position comes from applying specific strategies with the aim of strengthening the five strategy elements of our position to match or exceed that of the opponent. Thus securing our success in the challenge before the challenge even begins.

Sun Tzu Strategic system starts with the idea of position, and goes onto make this idea easy to advance in every aspect of life.

The framework of a strategic position is framework for a machine. You might say that this machine manufactures luck. We complete this machine by adding its four moving parts. These four parts (strategy elements) are designed to advance the position and to find and exploit opportunities:

  • Information to uncover new opportunities
  • Focus to aim on the best possible opportunity
  • Action to take advantage of that opportunity
  • Position to get the rewarded and begin a new advance

In this section, we will analyse the five strategy elements and how to advance them to win over life challenges.

We will also give examples so that strategy as a tool become clearer and ready for your use to advance your position in life.

Before delving into the five strategy elements and the strategies to advance them in depth, I would like you to consider a “conscious” thinking attitude to understanding and using strategy.

Easier said than done

Our instinct when facing challenges in life is almost always a reaction driven by our “fight or flight” response.

We either attack or run away from challenges.

The ability to control one’s emotions and instinct, while at the same time “introspect” on our actions rationally and pragmatically, is the GOLDEN key to living the life you have always dreamt of and reach abundance of success.

Reacting instinctively and “spontaneously” to challenges could be more pleasurable ... but the pleasure is very short lived.

Not showing one’s emotion while planning next move to success, leave the strategist with the last laugh and success.

Strategy is counter intuitive.

When people learn it they say that it make sense. They are wrong, strategy only make sense once we learn it and use it instead of following our instinct to saying “what we think” so to speak without any "conscious" thinking or introspection.

Let’s go a bit deeper to explain:

What is a Strategic Position?





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