Sun Tzu’s Art of War is a hugely influential piece of literature that has affected everything from military strategy to philosophy, across the world.

His observations on being a successful leader are timeless, and the art of war is still recommended as an essential read for entrepreneurs and leaders alike.

From Sun Tzu, here are 21 pieces of inspiration to become a great leader.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.

The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.

Inspiration to Become a Great Leader

If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.

Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack.

Victory usually goes to the army who has better trained officers and men.

Balk the enemy’s power; force him to reveal himself.

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.

The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.

A good commander is benevolent and unconcerned with fame.

The enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution.

He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.

For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.

He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.

Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.

If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

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