Art of War by Sun Tzu - the Tao of Leadership

A focus on the spiritual elements of Art of War for self awareness in leadership and strategy.
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Instructed by Peter Urey Business / Strategy
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  • Lectures 8
  • Length 35 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2014 English

Course Description

Art of War is one of a handful of must read leadership classics.
It is one of the most quoted but least understood books on the subject.

It's also quite a difficult read because 60% of the book is about the Chinese terrain and climate and about moving men and supplies.
This can feel like a waste of your valuable time but the remaining 40% is pure gold.

It's a book about the mental and spiritual preparation for leadership.
It makes it very clear that strategy and the motivation of others begins with self control.

In this course we focus all of your attention onto the gentle art of stilling the mind to feel the force.
In 45 minutes you will discover the essence of Sun Tzu's leadership message without needing hours of study.

The book is NOT a manual on ways to be ruthless and unprincipled.
In fact it's the polar opposite whilst still having the objective of instructing the reader in the ways of undisputed and total success.

What are the requirements?

  • Students for this course will most likely be already enrolled into a company Leadership Development Scheme or be aware that they face challenges leading others in their own business.
  • The main requirement is to accept that leadership is a learnt skill which has evolved over centuries and should not be attempted without professional support.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the central message of Sun Tzu's The Art of War without having to spend hours reading the book and commentary on it.
  • Appreciate why The Art of War is a classic text in Leadership Development.
  • Focus on the importance of Self Awareness to great leadership.
  • Discover ways to cultivate the techniques needed to take decisions without stress.
  • Recall the most important quotes from the book and relate them to the world of business.

Who is the target audience?

  • People being introduced to Leadership Development, HR Managers and Business Owners who need to learn about leading others without anxiety.
  • Readers with an interest in classic literature but who want a synopsis before investing time in reading the full text.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction and Objectives

The Art of War was written in 400 BC in China and much of the text is specific to warfare in that period and geography. In this course we seek to eliminate the material about the Weather, Terrain and Military Logistics and focus on the essence of good leadership and apply it to the business world.

The course will address the subjects of Moral Influence and Command as defined in the book.

Word document attached with outline of the script. Not a full transcription.

Defining Moral Influence and Command

Before examining Moral Influence and Command we alert you to the differences between the western archetype of leadership and the method proposed by Sun Tzu which, despite the title of the book, places emphasis on Inner Calm as the basis of power.

Section 2: The Tao or The Way of Harmony

Sun Tzu provides us with specific definitions of Moral Influence and Command. We explore them in this lesson and demonstrate their connection to the Oriental concept of the Tao or the Way of Spiritual Discipline.

The concept of the Tao is not an easy one for anybody to grasp easily but it contrasts sharply with the western pre-occupation with leaders building their presence and imposing the strength of their personal style onto the culture of an organisation. In Sun Tzu's world, leaders must withdraw into quiet reflection before taking decisions.


In this lesson we consider 9 ways in which a westerner could practise basic spiritual disciplines to refine their self awareness and appreciate the ways in which we are all intimately connected.

The objective is to indicate that the suggested techniques are ways to develop the mental style of a leaders seeking the Tao as a guide to sound leadership.

Section 3: Longevity, mystique and moral dilemma

In this lesson we recount a story about the life of Sun Tzu and his appeal to the Warlords of the Warring States Period. We offer a warning that it is easy to misconstrue the story and the book as a treatise on adopting very brutal management techniques if the results can be delivered.

The book is not about the use of direct and unremitting force to achieve ends but about the subtle appreciation of how to generate power responsibly and without unnecessary suffering to others.


In this lesson we expand on the dangers of conflating warfare with business. We are encouraging you to look beyond the verses on destroying enemies, and by association business competitors, and to concentrate on the deeper philosophy of leadership as the process of self examination and personal growth.

Section 4: 10 Quotes and their meaning

Here we consider 10 of the most popular quotes from The Art of War. They are most likely to be the verses which you will come across in Leadership Development and which you may be required to comment upon.

We are keen to distinguish between the two possible readings of the book which are the invocation to ruthlessness versus the call to spiritual control.

We close with the reminder that in the final analysis Sun Tzu is calling on leaders to embrace The Tao.

Good luck on your Journey along The Way.

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Instructor Biography

Peter Urey, Business Coaching Courses for when it's hard to ask for help

1. There are many times in life when we know we need some guidance but it's tough to ask for help.

2. Fear of what others might think, pride or embarrassment can hold us back.

3. Our courses deal with subjects which are difficult to talk about to your boss or other people.

              * Motivation
              * Bullying
              * Dealing with difficult people
              * Confidence
              * Anxiety about basic skills
              * Alcohol issues

We offer the soft skills for hard times

4. They are affordable and accessible any time and any place on the internet.

5. You can learn in total privacy.

6. We are on-hand to offer personal support via Skype should you need it. We've been where you are now.

We can help you to uncover the sub-conscious forces driving unhelpful patterns of behaviour and create the conditions for you to create a long-term solution.

Preview our courses before you enrol today.

About Peter Urey.
Trained to advanced level in personal coaching techniques including Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling, Hoshin Planning, Business NLP and HP's Leadership Development Programme.
Experienced coach for Hewlett Packard, Symantec, Canon, Epson plus many more.
Educated in Law at University of Oxford.
Aged 56, married 29 years, 3 adult children.
Student of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling under Marian Way, author of Clean Approaches for Coaches.
Black Belt in Karate.

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