Lesson number 1.
孙子曰 昔之善战者 先为不可胜
Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat,
and then wait for an opportunity to defeat the enemy.
In the Rumble in the Jungle, Muhammad Ali took on the younger and stronger George Foreman.
Ali used his rope-a-dope strategy of protecting himself and not throwing many punches,
making Foreman miss and tire.
Sensing this, Ali pounced to win back his world title.
It may take time to find the right opportunity to win.
During the time before victory is available, you may still be defeated.
Defence always comes first.
Lesson number 2.
To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands,
but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
During the end of Han Dynasty in China, a general did not go into battle straight away
but camped with his men behind the enemy to act as a deterrent.
Meanwhile, he instructed his men to dig trenches around a nearby enemy fortress
to deceive the enemy into thinking that they were trying to cut off supplies into their camp.
敌人上当了 放弃了要塞 于是他的营地受到了攻击和毁坏
The enemy were fooled and abandoned their position, allowing their camp to be attacked and destroyed.
With a good defence, you can survive attacks.
With a weak defence, even a modest attack could succeed.
This also applies to your enemy.
Use feints to cause defensive moves that may expose weaknesses.
Lesson number 3.
故善战者 能为不可胜 不能使敌之必可胜
Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.
When Winston Churchill became the British prime minister, his foreign secretary wanted
to explore a compromise deal with Adolf Hitler to preserve Britain’s integrity.
丘吉尔让他相信 在这种糟糕的局面下 协商将得不到任何东西
Churchill convinced him there wasn’t anything to gain by trying to negotiate in such dire circumstances.
He did not know the course of the War at that point,
但是他认为 只要坚持下去 胜利指日可待
but by hanging on he thought the steps to victory may come to light in the future.
阻止 躲闪 回避对手的攻击 然后等待能击败对手的机会
Block, deflect or avoid an opponent’s attacks and wait to find an opening through which you can defeat them.
两个优秀的对手互相施计 争斗 直到一方出现破绽
Two good opponents will circle one another and may fight for a long period before a mistake is made.
Lesson number 4.
不可胜者 守也 可胜者 攻也
Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.
Belisarius reclaimed huge sections of the Roman Empire by repeatedly defending
and then attacking the Goths.
After convincing the enemy to launch a fruitless attack by defending firmly,
he’d then go on the offensive, repossessing the land.
为了避免失败 你可能必须防守 但是别花太长时间在建立防御上
To avoid losing, you must be able to defend but don’t spend too long on building a strong defence.
To win, you must also be capable to attack.
Spend time planning and preparing for effective assaults.
Lesson number 5.
Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.
雅典的统治者伯利克里 在一场与斯巴达的持久战中 他避开陆战而选择了海上力量
Pericles, the ruler of Athens avoided land battles with Sparta, preferring naval strength in a dragged out war,
as he calculated Athenian reserves would outlast the Spartans.
The Spartans would attack the area around Athens yearly,
leading to the Athenians to offer peace to the Spartans who insisted on ruthless terms.
It is often easier to defend than attack.
Weaker forces will defend more, hoping to see a weakness in their attackers.
Lesson number 6.
The general who is skilled in defence hides in the most secret recesses of the earth;
he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven.
Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete.
The Vietnamese General Giap recognised the Americans often used artillery and air strikes followed by bringing troops in.
By surviving the initial airstrikes Giap’s men could then ambush the American soldiers.
he ordered his fighters to stay as close to the Americans as possible as,
by having his men nearby, the airstrike would not be called in.
通过藏在敌人附近 他的游击战 手榴弹
By hiding in close proximity to the enemy, his tactics of guerrilla attacks, hand grenade
traps, ambushes and snipers were highly effective.
You must know your strengths and limitations in defence and attack.
Act based on this knowledge.
If you are weak in attack, seek a position that is easy to protect.
If you are strong in attack, a fast and powerful drive can overcome many defences.
Lesson number 7.
To see victory only when it is within the knowledge of the common herd is not the peak of excellence.
Han Hsin was about to attack a superior army when he said to his men: “Gentlemen, we are
将士们 我们准备歼灭敌人 然后晚饭时会再见面
going to annihilate the enemy, and shall meet again at dinner.”
The officers barely took his words seriously and only hesitantly agreed.
However, Han Hsin had calculated in his head a detailed, smart strategy.
As he predicted, he was able to inflict a crushing defeat on his opponent.
When there is a road paved with gold, without distractions and threats heading directly to your goal,
it takes no skill to follow it.
Being able to see the unseen is a skill that can help you in numerous ways.
It’s easy to succeed in a growing market with plenty of demand.
True skill is displayed in tougher times.
Lesson number 8.
To see the sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder is no sign of a quick ear.
When Steve Jobs returned to take charge of a near-bankrupt Apple,
experts advised him to sell the company and licence the software.
Jobs could see problems within the company that the experts couldn’t and crucially,
how to resolve them.
在发现了问题所在之后 他做了与专家们意见相左的决定 扭转了局面
After diagnosing the issues he did the opposite of what they advised, turning the business around.
Perceiving what is obvious does not show insight.
感知到难以察觉的东西 发现它的重要性 才是一项高超的能力
To perceive what isn’t obvious and understand its significance takes a finer skill.
Take time to hone your perceptual abilities.
Lesson number 9.
What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.
Aemilius was sent to Spain to take on Barbarians who were at war with the Roman Republic.
Defeating the Barbarians in two battles with ease, the success was noticeably due to his leadership.
他选择了有利的地形 越过了一条河流 最终轻巧获胜
By selecting favourable ground and crossing a river he made winning easy for his men.
他返回罗马 留给这个地方和平 没有为他的远征要求任何金钱的回报
He returned to Rome leaving the area in peace and without claiming any money for his expedition.
A good fighter does not get into difficult fights nor gets into difficult situations.
Using great skill often appears to be done without much effort.
This is because it is done with skill and not effort.
Lesson number 10.
He wins his battles by making no mistakes.
Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory,
for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.
As Hannibal and his Carthaginian army travelled through Italy,
Fabius Cunctator and his Roman soldiers followed him around,
hoping Hannibal would make a mistake so they could attack his foragers.
Hannibal was a great military strategist
and avoided any mistakes allowing him to destroy farms and villages as he marched on towards Rome.
You can lose by making defensive mistakes that allow an attack through.
不管是在象棋 战争还是生意中 原则都是一样的
The principle is the same whether in chess, war or business strategy.
Lesson number 11.
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won,
whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
When the Allies broke the German Enigma code in World War II,
they could intercept and decrypt military messages sent between German planners.
This allowed the Allies to make more informed decisions about when and where to engage the enemy,
giving them the ability to stay one step ahead and eventually win the War.
Good tacticians see further ahead than others,
planning moves and counter-moves until certain victory is known.
The ability to see possibilities and take your business there is a powerful leadership skill.
Lesson number 12.
The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline;
thus it is in his power to control success.
During the First World War, King Albert I of Belgium fought alongside his men,
sharing the risk of death with them on the frontline.
He also allowed his 14-year-old son, to enlist in the army and fight.
在战争结束时 作为军队的指挥官 艾勃特领导最后一次进攻 解放了他的国家
At the end of the war, as commander of an army, Albert led the final offensive that liberated his country.
The King and his family returned to Brussels with a hero’s welcome.
Values and morals start from the very top and filter down.
What the leader does, others will copy.
尊重道德 方法和原则 会带来胜利
Succeeding with regards to morality, method and discipline should lead to triumph.
Lesson number 13.
Measurement owes its existence to Earth; Estimation of quantity to Measurement; Calculation to
量生数 数生称 称生胜
Estimation of quantity; Balancing of chances to Calculation; and Victory to Balancing of chances.
The Duke of Wellington always performed thorough and detailed preparations.
This allowed for his supply routes to be constantly prepared for the requirements of his soldiers.
Before the Battle of Waterloo, Wellington studied Napoleon meticulously.
He analysed his tactics in great detail.
他坚信 只有抓住一次机会 转守为攻 战争形势终将逆转
Only once he absolutely knew for sure that the clash was going in his favour did he switch to the offensive.
There is no certainty in war.
Victory starts with intelligence that allows understanding of risks and opportunities.
Project possibilities for each risk and opportunity, then act on the one with best outcome.
Don’t base risks and opportunities on opinion, use data and calculated projection.
Improving this will improve your success.
Lesson number 14.
A victorious army opposed to a routed one, is as a pound’s weight placed in the scale against a single grain.
General George Patton once said: “Americans love a winner.
Americans will not tolerate a loser”.
There is an element of truth in this.
No one likes to lose and especially not militaries.
It has been shown countless times in history that soldiers are willing to tolerate extreme adversity and suffering,
so long as it ultimately leads to tangible results and victory.
Armies that win are superior and have a stronger morale than those which run away.
Never underestimate the power of motivation leading people to wins,
即使是一点点 也能提高士气 带来更多的胜利
even small ones, will increase morale and lead to more wins.
Work hard to rebuild morale after failure.
Lesson number 15.
称胜者之战民也 若决积水于千仞之溪者 形也
The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting of pent-up waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep.
The Battle of Stalingrad between Germany and the Soviet Union caused a turning point in the direction of the Second World War.
Prior to the conflict, the Germans had invaded and occupied several European countries.
The five-month battle and eventual Soviet victory stopped any momentum the Germans had left
and gave the Soviets new momentum to eventually drive the enemy out of their country.
There was a growth in confidence an increased belief of victory.
A fast-moving bullet fired from a gun will do far more damage than if it was thrown by hand.
The momentum created by a powerful attack can break through even a strong defence.
Momentum can be caused by a string of successes that keeps opponents or competitors on the back foot
and may even drive them out of the battleground or market altogether.