Monday, March 5, 2012

Sun Bin: The Art of Warfare (Military Methods) (5)

Horse Racing for Tianji
(田忌赛马 Tian Ji Sai Ma)

This storyline is about the macro factor that propelled Sun Bin to the attention of the Emperor of the Qi State.

After his escape to Qi State, Sun Bin became a guest of Tianji, the military general of the Qi emperor.

His host Tianji had a gambling habit where his skill was below the satisfactory level. Tian and the King always gambled through a series of three horse races. Each principal had three horses. From a descending order, the horse with the fastest time raced first. The winner was one with the most winning races.

It usually started like this: Tian's horse#1 vs the King's horse #1, and so on. Each and every time, Tian lost by split seconds.

Sun Bin analyzed the situation and offered Tianji's the simple solution of racing his third horse against the King's first horse. then racing his 1st horse against the King's second horse and his second horse against the King's third horse.

Tanji took the suggestion and secured a victorious outcome of 2 to 1.

After the race, the king was impressed and wanted to appoint Sun Bin as his military general-field commander. Sun Bin graciously declined the offer with the explanation that the solders would not respect a handicapped person. Instead, he suggested the King to appoint Tianji and make a commitment that he will be an adviser to Tian

Lessons from Sun Bin
Due to the various critical strategic factors, one cannot prevail on all strategic situations. He/she could only risk enough where the results of the quality wins exceeds the quality of the losses.

A baseball batter hits the ball three out of nine attempts, is usually considered to be a superstar. Certain strategic situations require one to know the standard and the scope of the situation before making a relevant decision.

In summation, Sun Bin solved a problem 2000 years plus before the subject of operation research was ever conceived...

Thoughts from the Compass Desk
Sun Bin assessed the Big Tangible Picture and made the right decision by identifying the relevant attributes in terms of the precedence, the connectivity and the cyclical process before devising the plan of creating "the mismatch."

So how do you assess your Big Tangible Picture?

The answer could be in your copy of the Sun Bin's Art of Warfare (or Sun Pin's Military Methods). .. Both versions are great reading for the hardcore strategists. ... 


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