Competitive Position and Leadership Skills
  Sun Tzu strategy advice

Excerpted from
The Art of War

by Sun Tzu



Five Elements for Comparing Competitive Positions

Philosophy: A competitor with a strong philosophy is a strong competitor. A clear philosophy makes decision-making easier. Understanding your competitor's philosophy allows you to predict them.

Heaven: Trends over time that are beyond your control. You must foresee these changes to adjust to them.

Ground: It is both where you fight and what you fight for. The Ground is the basis of all competition because it is what people are fighting about. Competitors are distinguished by the position they hold on the ground. You can and must chose the ground over which you battle. Your choice of ground is a key aspect of your success.

Leader: The success of the competitive unit depends on five qualities in its leader: bravery, intelligence, strictness, trust in and care about people.

Methods: Methods have five qualities the make them effective: systems, organization, learning, support, and standards.




The Four Skills of an Effective Competitor

The five elements that define a competitive position also create the four skills that define the competitor's interaction with the competitive environment:

Knowing: the ability to get hard information.

Vision: the ability to foresee the future.

Action: the ability to move or stay where we are.

Positioning: the ability to use the Ground to find success.

These skills define your external competence in the competitive world.