What is Strategy?

According to Sun Tzu the Art of War

Sun Tzu answers the question of "what is strategy?" at the opening of The Art of War treaty, he begins by saying: -

"Strategy is the great work of the organisation.
In Situations of Life and death,
it is the Tao of Survival or Extinction.
Its study cannot be neglected"
Sun Tzu the Art of War

The Chinese wrote their classics in a very general and universal style. These classics are templates for meeting life’s challenges.

The Chinese language lends itself well to this phenomenon. Each Chinese character is a multidimensional picture of an idea. For example, the word “Bing Fa” could literally mean martial art, strategy, conflict, negotiation or even war. Nevertheless, the way that Sun Tzu uses it, is much closer to the way we use the term Strategy today.

Three words in the opening of the Art of War are very important:

    1. "Strategy"

    2. "Great Work"

    3. "Study"

Signifying that it is not an inborn skill, but an acquired skill, one we must learn, one we must study, in order to win over life's challenges.

What is strategy?

Strategy is an Art; never a Science; it is the Art of the conscious mind in action.

Strategy is the Art that man invented, when the "voices of the Gods" stopped guiding him! It is the greatest "winning tool" that man ever invented!

It enables the practitioners to predict the future of any encounter they undertake - Whilst reacting rationally without the need for the "supernatural" or the voices from within!

It is the Art of the "Conscious Mind"; the Art of the General in the battle field; therefore, it is:

A style of thinking; a conscious and deliberate process; an intensive implementation system; the art of ensuring future success.

When you know "what strategy is", have learnt and practiced, you develop the strategist's mind. "The Thinking General" has trained himself to think several moves ahead of everyone else.

Strategy is the art of success in utilisation of the mind; for the last 2500 years it has been the preserve of the ruling classes in politics and business throughout the world.

Strategy, "the thinking of the General" is the Forbidden and Secret Art of Success for thousands of years!

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved."
Sun Tzu the Art of War

What makes strategy an Art?

Only one thing: the ability to consistently create new moves to overcome challenges in life. When you or anyone masters Sun Tzu's strategic system, they are able to more completely to understand their situation and take the right actions.

Unlike all other strategic thinkers in history, Sun Tzu was able to breakdown the steps in building a strategy into simple components - See the five strategy elements.

Why is this strategic art necessary?

Because our instinctive reaction to challenges is inappropriate; our natural "inborn" reaction to life's challenges is either "flight" or "fight". Running away from challenges or getting into costly fights with people and organizations.

Strategy has a different approach to life's challenges. It teaches systematic positioning leading to triumph. Ideally, over time, people want to join you and not to fight you.

Strategy is not for reactionaries but for "conscious" thinking people. It is based on certain economic realities and teaches us how to use simple mathematics to calculate our possibilities and basic psychology to understand and to persuade our opponents.

What is strategy again?

A style of thinking; a conscious and deliberate process; an intensive implementation system; the art of ensuring future success.

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