Sun Tzu Successes in the Public Sphere ~

The Art of War has a long history of creating winners, not only in the military, business, politics, and sports, but in virtually every other competitive arena. We have collected a few examples here from the public sphere, but also see the articles from our members who describe their experiences in Selling, Small Business, Career, and facing Life challenges.

Military: The French phrase coup d'oeil, the "power of the glance," describes the ability to immediately recognize what must be done in a dynamic, complex situation. This phrase was used to describe Napoleon’s ability in understanding a battlefield. And where did Napoleon get this ability? He was the first western student of Sun Tzu. After Napoleon's success, this knowledge spread through the military world. Patton studied the work and today, the Department of the Army in the United States, through its Command and General Staff College, has directed all units to maintain libraries within their respective headquarters for the continuing education of personnel in the art of war. The Art of War is specifically mentioned by name as an example of the works to be maintained at each individual unit, and staff duty officers are obliged to prepare short papers for presentation to other officers on their readings. The book is taught at most military schools and colleges around the world.

Business: The ideas began to spread into the Western business world in the late 1980s. As you can see from the Institute's own list of corporate customers, these ideas are popular with some of the largest and most respected organizations in the world. In many companies, Sun Tzu is required reading. As you can see from our list, even government organizations use his principles.

Politics: The work is also used in politics. Republican strategist Lee Atwater said he never traveled without a copy.

Sports: In sports, a whole series of winning coaches study Sun Tzu's Sun Tzu's Rules. In American football, coaches such as Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots teams and, earlier, Bill Walsh of the great San Francisco 49er teams both used the book. In professional basketball, Phil Jackson, the coach of several championship teams, not only follows its principles but hands out copies of the book to his players. In international football (soccer) 2002 world Cup winner Brazil's manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, currently manager for the English team Chelsea, is also a serious devotee of Sun Tzu. Robbie Deans, the Australian Rugby coach uses it. An entire book has been developed, unfortunately not by us, about sports champions who follow its principles.