The Art of Leadership |
The Art of Strategy
THE ART OF STRATEGY
Steps Towards Business Agility
Interpreted and Compiled by Erik Schön
Second printing, April 2021
What is leadership?
Why is this important?
How do you lead successfully?
THE ART OF LEADERSHIP provides timeless answers to these eternal questions. It is a modern reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching — a guide for leaders in turbulent times in ancient China. It is an interpretation of 81 short, poetic sections on leadership, people and how to succeed together in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world where the rate of change will never be slower than today.
You will discover new perspectives on the world, people and their behaviours, get actionable advice on how to lead strategically and effectively, and, learn how to make a difference using purpose and integrity instead of pressure and control.
You will also improve your understanding of China, Chinese ways of leading and strategising since the Tao Te Ching is deeply ingrained in Chinese thinking, decision-making and actions.
"The Art of Leadership is a beautifully deep exploration of leadership based on a modern interpretation
of my favourite Chinese classic, the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu." Rod Leaverton, Global Strategy &
"I love this interpretation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. The insights go beyond what I could possibly imagine. After leading a tech company for more than 26 years there is still so much to learn and study. Thank you Erik for bringing these more than wise words to our attention." Jørn Larsen, CEO and founder, Trifork
“This is powerful, this is for practical people struggling with business goals.” Goran Skugor, Competence Manager
Medium, 13 parts,
5-10 min listen each
What is strategy?
Why do you need it?
How do you do it?
And, how can you be more certain to succeed?
The Art of Strategy provides timeless answers to these eternal questions. It is a short introduction to strategy through the insights of three successful strategists: Sun Tzu, John Boyd and Simon Wardley. It is a modern interpretation of Sun Tzu's The Art of War - the strategy classic written in China around 500 BC - using the lenses of Boyd (OODA "loop" inventor) and Wardley (Wardley Map inventor) who were both influenced by Sun Tzu.
Each chapter gently transforms The Art of War into a modern business setting and includes material from Boyd and Wardley in separate sections to complement and clarify Sun Tzu's terse, poetic text. The idea is to serve strategy in 13 short chapters requiring 5-10 minutes reading time each. An extensive glossary is included since many Chinese concepts are purposefully abstract and ambiguous.
You will discover new thinking patterns, e.g. OODA "loops" and situational awareness, as well as visualization tools like Wardley Maps that will help you and your organization succeed together with your stakeholders. You will also improve your understanding of the – sometimes evil – political gameplays (and counter-measures!) used by Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Xí Jìnpíng who are all inspired by Sun Tzu, in some cases indirectly via Boyd.
"There are so many books I enjoy at the moment including The Art of Strategy - a great little book which has loads of maps in there." Simon Wardley, inventor of Wardley Mapping
"The Art of Strategy is condensed knowledge that all managers, agile coaches and other leaders should have. This is three thinkers from very different contexts. But as Erik has put it, with similarities and differences topic by topic, a fourth voice appears. That voice belongs to the interaction between the three narrators and it gives as much value to me as a reader as the other three voices do." Staffan Nöteberg, author of Monotasking
"Erik Schön has created a great example of Boyd’s 'snowmobile' — a synthesis across a variety of domains leading to new insights and capabilities. I’m sure every strategist, business leader, and entrepreneur will find valuable ideas for making their own enterprises more competitive." Chet Richards, author of Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business
"A great resource for anyone into effective strategy. As a fan of Wardley Mapping and have written about it myself previously I
find this book is a great resource that ties in Sun Tzu and Boyd as I have been looking for a hardback that covers these elements of strategy. Many thanks Erik for bringing this book
Molloy, Senior Product Manager at Workday
"I like the layout & style, 'let the ideas speak for themselves'." @frescoseco on Twitter
“An excellent fusion of SunTzu, Boyd, and Wardley that is beautifully laid out, highly readable and very straightforward in compressing the learning curve on all three!“ @ChaosAndOceans on Twitter
"THE summary and independent look on modern strategy right now!!!" Markus Andrezak, Founder and Managing Partner at überprodukt
Erik Schön is an executive and strategist who has successfully developed and deployed strategy for over 20 years in small, medium and large organizations. From hacker, software researcher and system engineer to leader, executive and strategizer, Erik is leading global organisations in complex product and service development.
Erik's favourite books on strategy, product development, Sun Tzu and Boyd on Goodreads.