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The Thirty-Six Stratagems (Infinite Success)

The Thirty-Six Stratagems (Infinite Success) [Kindle Edition]

Peter Taylor

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Product Description

Product Description

The 36 Stratagems is a Chinese essay used to illustrate a series of stratagems used in politics and in war, as well as in civilian life, often through unorthodox means. Approximately 300 years ago an unknown scholar compiled the stratagems, a strangely seductive meditation on deception. The stratagems are ordered in categories according to your current position. ‘Advantageous Stratagems’, ‘Opportunistic Stratagems’ and ‘Attacking Stratagems’ are used when you are in a winning situation. ‘Confusion Stratagems’, ‘Deception Stratagems’ and ‘Desperate Stratagems’ are used when you are in a disadvantageous or losing situation. These strategems can be combined in various ways as they are not intended to be used alone, nor are they only applicable in purely a winning or purely a losing situation. So how can the three hundred year old ideas of an unknown Chinese scholar provide help with the strategic challenges we face today? In this brilliant interpretation, this ancient text is transformed into a practical guide for the 21st century business executive or politician. By interpreting the lessons of The 36 Stratagems this handy, authentic, realistic approach shows how we can defeat the opponents we face in our business and personal lives. But beware: there is no ‘win win’ scenario in The 36 Stratagems. Winner takes all!

About the Author

Peter Taylor has achieved notable success in business, particularly in the field of project management. He is a dynamic communicator, professional speaker, workshop trainer and PM/PMO consultant. Peter is the author of several books, including The Lazy Project Manager and The Lazy Winner.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1203 KB
  • Print Length: 140 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1906821836
  • Publisher: Infinite Ideas (1 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #417,133 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chinese Military Thought For A Business Audience 16 Jun 2013
By Nathan Albright - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a fond and often critical reader of ancient Chinese strategic texts, I am often amused at the way in which Chinese and Japanese strategic texts have been mined for contemporary business thought. Fortunately, this book comes with a warning that readers would do well to heed-the strategies in this book are not to be tried when one is looking for a win-win situation. The adoption of the strategems in this book (most of which are based on deception and misdirection and might be seen by some as being unethical as a result) are a clear sign of hostility and mistrust. My own personal reasons for reading this book and others like it is to recognize when others are being dishonest with me, as I tend to be honest (even a bit too honest at times), and so gaining a bit of subtlety is something that can be of use given the general context of my life.

This particular book, almost coincidentally, contains 36 strategies, of which half are to be used in advantageous positions and half in disadvantageous positions. The last six strategies of the book are to be used in the most disadvantageous positions of all, what are termed to be desperate positions (which, if we are honest, most of us have faced at one point or another), and include the only straightforward of the 36 strategems, which is to retreat if all else fails. The general structure of the discussion of these strategems is fairly straightforward and consistent. First, they are introduced in translation, then they are described with examples from Chinese history and/or contemporary business practice (this is a book clearly aimed at business executives who want to defeat and humble their rivals, or to avoid being defeated or humbled themselves, or who like to see others be defeated and humbled, as the case may be), and then there are specific hints given as to ways to use these strategies effectively.

What a reader gets out of a book like this depends in large part on what sort of interests and assumptions a reader brings into it. Those readers who are interested in tactical matters, have at least some interest in Chinese military history or business tactics, and who are willing to learn about deception even if only for the purpose of recognizing it in others will find much of worth in the 150 or so pages that follow. Those who have no such interests will not find this book to be greatly of interest at all, and some readers may even be positively offended by the somewhat amoral tone of the editor of this work, which does not directly or indirectly praise Christian virtue in any way whatsoever. As an illustration of how business leaders (and generals, who business leaders often model themselves after) actually behave in this present evil world, this book is immensely useful, although it is a deeply cynical work.

I should also note, for the reader who is at least somewhat familiar with Chinese history already, that this particular work has variant spellings for many Chinese names that are somewhat familiar to readers under different forms. For example, the author uses Ci instead of Chi and Cin instead of Ch'in to describe those two famous nations of the late warring states period, one of whom is responsible for the name of China to begin with. It would appear that the author's attempt to use modernized Chinese, which uses the pinyin transliteration scheme instead of the more familiar and older one that most texts directed to Western audiences use, is aimed at showing the author as familiar with the latest practices of Chinese thought. Readers should be alert to the fact that the book uses different spellings for names that would be familiar to those who are at least somewhat well-read in translations of Chinese texts. It should also be noted that the word strategems does not make this a strategic work, as this work is really a work on the tactical level focusing on different tricks that someone can use to put their enemy or rival in a disadvantageous position, whether by inflaming their lusts, feigning weakness or strength, or some other means. Those readers looking for in-depth strategic thought will be disappointed, but those looking for notable tactics to gain short-term advantage or long-term victory in a struggle will find much to reflect on, even if not all of it is pleasant.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An informative and entertaining read full of useful gems 29 May 2013
By Frank Papa - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thirty-six Strategems is a concise and entertaining read offering unique strategies for use in business and career. I enjoyed reading a few strategems each day. I soon began to remember when I'd seen these strategems put to use in the news and at work. The author provides historical examples and more recent news events to demonstrate how these strategies have been applied. I found this fascinating as it gave depth and a back story to familiar news stories.
The big take away for me was suggestions on how to apply these strategies in everyday life, and to recognize when they are being implemented by others.
A bonus was the cultural insight into Chinese military history.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideas that can definitely be useful, both business and personal 14 Aug 2013
By MyTwoCents - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
In our everyday lives, we are constantly exposed to possible manipulation from different areas, from bosses to advertising companies to service people and more. Sometimes we need to have our own toolkit to pull from.

Each chapter presents the basic description of one of the stratagems, and an example from Chinese history. Many times, I had a hard time relating the Chinese example to how I would use it in my life. But the author provides the help by interpreting the stratagem, with one or two possible applications to real life. Sometimes I felt the author's explanation was a stretch compared to my understanding of the stratagem description, whereas, in other cases, it was much more direct.

I added the book to my personal library, and will see how much I refer to it.
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick easy read 19 July 2014
By tom - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There seems to be nothing new in this book that I haven't read in similar 36 strategem and strategy books before. But this is a good introduction, a quick easy read and might offer some new insights to those who have read similar material.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential wisdom from China helps us to cope with modern problems 11 Oct 2013
By Yuriy Vasilyev - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Essential wisdom, however, there is some wierd examples, for instance examples about war in Lybia.
Another moment - some Chineese names I could hardly remember till end of historical example, because they are look similar for me )
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