Skip to content

Book Review: Art of War by Sun Tzu

Book Review

The Art of War: By Sun Tzu


Well we can’t say that we have looked at books on entrepreneurship and business strategy without looking at Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Written roughly in 5BC, this 2000 year old literature is still one of the top recommendations for managers to read when discussing strategy. So here at ABLE we decided to delve into the question “Why?”. What makes this book still relevant? Well let’s get to it:

The Art of War is a must read. Let’s start at that. The lessons that can be learned from this book are essential in business life. The warfare is different. Our battlefields may not be hillsides or swamps, but the lessons of reconnaissance, planning and forward thinking are business essentials that apply in any industry. This is a book on philosophy, on ethics, leadership, management and strategy. It’s a collection of different lessons encompassing a life of learning in war. Even though the context isn’t the same it is strikingly similar to a dynamic life in business. If you’re a manager, you’re in charge of leading a team. You may not be a general in charge of the whole army or division, but you are in charge of people, and this book will help you lead them in a much better way if you take away and apply all the lessons within. In a single sentence, that is the answer to the question “Why is this book still so recommended to all managers?” It’s all about People Management!

Overall, this book is bite-sized. All the lessons one can learn from it have been analyzed a thousand times and they can be fit into one-liners and placed on post-it notes all around your office. Lessons such as hiring the best of the best, training them and trusting in them to lead your army or organization to victory are applicable no matter the context. The lessons can easily be found online. But I recommend first having a read of it and try and see how many you can spot. Then go ahead and find the rest. It’s not to show you how much you know or don’t know. It’ll just be a better way to stay focused when reading this book in one sitting.

Sun Tzu shows us how similar life is now to back then, even with all the technology in our hands. Human beings seem to have similar drives that don’t really change. We want safety, we want a roof over our heads, we don’t want to fight or work in the evenings because we’re tired and want to sleep. There is a lot to unpack within. As usual, I’ll look to keep a post of this book on one of our social media accounts (if you want to find it, click the buttons below that will take you there!) and let us know in the comments your thoughts about it!

Written by Lenard Adanov