Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Notes on Dr. Ralph Sawyer's Translation of the Six Secret Teachings

Someone asked me why we are giving away this strategy classic, not Sun Zi's Art of War. The big picture concept behind our Tangible Vision process is based on our understanding of this specific classic and other essays found in the other ancient Chinese strategic classics.

Some people have considered this classic is considered to be the 1st strategic essay written during Ancient China.
Not to confuse the reader. viewer.

Jiang Tai Gong (姜太公, Chiang Tai Kung's, Wales romanization).the writer of this essay was a predecessor of Sun Zi during the Western Zhou era.

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This book is a great guide for "newbies" who are interested in strategic consulting and advising. It consists of six chapters that guide the readers in the art and science of effective strategy and leadership from a top-down model.

The first two "chapters" deal with the duties of the organization and the natural transition of power to the principal rival if the organization fails. This scenario can be described as a "respective" interplay of "yin and yang."

1. The Civil Strategic Secret: The first chapter underscores the importance of recruiting talent, managing the organization, and valuing developing a proper relationship within your client and your own organization. Once the bond of absolute trust is established, they will do almost anything for you.

2. The Military Strategic Secret: The second chapter highlight the importance of how to prevail over the opposition and how to build a territorial domain by the following actions: Cultivating yourself and organizing your own group in order to govern your external settings and pacify the world. The concept of "conquering without a single tactical battle" is also greatly emphasized. (It is similar to Sunzi's concept of "winning a war without a battle.")

3. The Dragon Strategic Secret: The emphasis is on how to lead wisely through various situations by understanding the development of operational command, order and liaison.

4. The Tiger Strategic Secret: The emphasis is on the tactical essentials, including matters related to proper group-maneuvering procedures for certain scenarios.

5. The Leopard Strategic Secret: This chapter focuses on the tactical specifics for determining the critical path toward completing the objective.

6. The Dog Strategic Secret: This final chapter focuses on the tactical specifics of trapping the target (i.e., encircling and intercepting). There are also good points on selecting and training the desired team professionals and coordinating the personnel's and resources toward the target.

Understanding and mastering the content from Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 (civil secret teachings and martial secret teachings) is an important key to being a good consultant
The first stage of any good consultant is to gain the client's trust by knowing the various ways of "suggesting" ideas and perspectives to the principal client.

The concepts behind Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are similar to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, but with a Dao-conceptualized viewpoint. If one wants to start an uprising in their competitive arena, we recommend the interested person to carefully study those two chapters.

Another lesson that comes from reading Jiang's essay was the importance of "thinking big" in one's own aspiration. It helps to have read the Jiang's biography.

A note from Although the Art of War remains the only book known in the West, the Wuzi and Six Secret Teachings proved to be highly important sources for military wisdom over the centuries, and the latter continues to be held in higher esteem among contemporary PRC military professionals.

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More information on Jiang Tai Gong can be found here.

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