The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The 36 Strategies: #30 Make the Host and Guest Exchange Roles


Next to Sun Tzu's The Art of War, the 36 Strategies is the most widely known book on strategy to come out of Asia. Where the Art of War is an almost text book like overview of the subject, the 36 Strategies seeks to instill the idea of strategic thought by means of groups of 6 proverbs for each of 6 types of situations.


#30 is: Make the Host and Guest Exhange Roles.


The idea here is to usurp leadership in a situation where you would normally be subordinate. Another interpretation is to join the opposition, then work against him from within; eventually seizing power.

6 comments:

walt said...

I noticed that on the site that had the Mysterious Technique of the Cat they had a link to William Scott Wilson, who also translated the 36 Strategies.

Is this the translation you like?

Rick said...

There are a number of translations out there, and I can't say that I've run across any that I flat out don't like.

You might want to take a look at the Art of the Advantage, by Kaihan Krippendorff:

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Advantage-Strategies-Seize-Competitve/dp/1587991683

walt said...

Thanks; I ordered the new edition, which supposedly is *new and improved.* I ran my own business for many years, so perhaps the "business angle" to the ideas will illuminate them for me.

Apparently the author worked for McKinsey Co.; I followed the career of one of their "stars," Tom Peters, for many years. It should be an interesting read.

Rick said...

I followed Tom Peters for years too, and I think you'll find the book an interesting read.

I was in sales and marketing myself, and I've made use of the principles the Chinese classics on strategy have to teach; specifically those taught in the 36 Strategies.

If you take a look at the links on my page, you'll see a link for Collaboration 360. Check it out and read some of the posts. The author is a friend of mine who has made a very deep study of strategy and is consulting teaching what he's learned.

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

I will have to read the book.

Thanks

Rick said...

Ole, I know how much you appreciate the ladies. Maybe this one would be appropriate:

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Seduction-Robert-Greene/dp/0142001198/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241142901&sr=1-3

It's about applying the principles of strategy to a specific purpose.