Article PDF: 6.8.2 Strength in Adversity

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Sun Tzu's seven rules for using adversity to increase a group's unity and focus.

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This article explains that the pressure of opposition, as William Shakespeare observed, can be used by wise leaders. One of its uses is to bond people together in the face of a shared threat. Under dire circumstances, people naturally cling to the relative safety of groups. However, when put under certain kinds of pressure, groups can also fall apart (6.4.1 Dissipating Situations). To understand how adversity can create strength or weakness in a group, we have to understand the underlying principles by which Sun Tzu's strategy defines strength.