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Paperback The Rules of Victory: How to Transform Chaos and Conflict (Strategies from the Art of War) Book

ISBN: 1590307011

ISBN13: 9781590307014

The Rules of Victory: How to Transform Chaos and Conflict (Strategies from the Art of War)

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Book Overview

Sun Tzu's Art of War is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest tools for understanding and resolving conflict ever. But how do you translate its military insights into practical tactics you can use in the corporate boardroom, the PTA meeting, or the family reunion? James Gimian and Barry Boyce take the principles born on ancient Chinese battlefields and show you how to relate them to the situations of your everyday life. By learning to identify...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great Resource

For my work as director of a largely volunteer non-profit, this book has been helpful in its view of the challenges of conflict and chaos, and how to work with situations.

The Real Thing

The Rules of Victory is the real thing. The Sun Tzu (The Art of War) text, the topic of this book, is a unique treasure of wisdom from ancient China. Set in the context of military action, the Sun Tzu has long been recognized as providing profound insights into how to accomplish any objective amidst the inevitable conflict and chaos of the real world. The core concept of `taking whole' offers the vision of accomplish objectives without destruction and without perpetuating conflict. The Sun Tzu is definitely the real thing. The authors of this book, James Gimian and Barry Boyce, are also the real thing. They have been immersing themselves in the Sun Tzu for more than twenty years. They spent many years translating the Sun Tzu into English from the original Chinese. The publication of their translation (The Art of War: The Denma Translation) is widely recognized as among the best currently available. The entire translation, by the way, is included as an appendix in The Rules of Victory. For a number of years Gimian and Boyce have been conducting workshops and seminars on the Sun Tzu. Through these teachings experiences they have honed their ability to articulate the view, practice and action of the Sun Tzu and present the principles in an organized and understandable manner. They have also been able to collect numerous stories from workshop participants and others about how the Sun Tzu has been applied to the challenges of every day domestic and work situations. The Rules of Victory provides us with access to these stories as well. Most of all, the Rules of Victory brings the reader into a conversation with the authors and with the Sun Tzu text itself. In this conversation we are privy to the depth of thinking the authors have developed, far beyond simplistic cookie-cutter solutions. The conversation is inviting, stimulating and humorous. Gimian and Boyce clearly want us, as readers, to be able to join them in exploring and applying the Sun Tzu in our day to day world. If you are looking for a sane and profound approach to working in the world, you have found it in this book. The Rules of Victory is the real thing.

An authentic voice

As a long-time student of social and personal change methodologies, I find that most attempts at guidance give you a bunch of by this time well-worn insights and exercises, and skip over the hardest part--how to work, in real-life, with the underlying attitudes that are the real determinant of how and whether you can more skillfully engage your challenges. Boyce and Gimian manage to both present and make accessible a profound understanding, and at the same time give a sense that they live in the same neighborhood I do--a place where magical solutions and quick fixes are seen as hucksterism. This in my experience is a rare combination of vision and practicality, and the kind of authentic voice I hope we all hear more of.


There are lots of Sun Tzu translations. There are also lots of books applying it to a variety of circumstances: sun tzu for women; sun tzu for sales; sun tzu for whatever and on and on.This is the first book I have read that makes you grasp that the wisdom of Sun Tzu is not in bites of practical information but as a way of seeing, a guide to framing the world, a worldview. For it to work, it must be baked into your awareness. The book is literate and fluidly written. Its Big Idea: conflict will come and we will survive contact with it if we understand how all is interconnected., rejecting Western dualisitc thinking. Chapter 6 gives real world, practical applications. A book to be read and re-read.

an outstanding contribution

What I most admire about this book is that it refuses to give quick fixes: the wisdom it teaches is far too important for that. And subtle. If you want a set of seven maxims to maximize your product growth, stay away. But if you want to transform your understanding of how business (and every other conflictual situation) works, you'll be deeply rewarded by the careful, thorough presentation you'll find in this book. Gimian and Boyce take us through the view (meaning outlook or perspective of the Art of War), the practice (learning how to bring this view to bear on situations) and the action. The result is a teaching that will, as the subtitle says, "transform chaos and conflict" into situations of victory. Highly recommended!
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