“And here we thought he was a great general.”

Introduction

As previously mentioned before, Airsend is introducing our very own book corner. Here, we read, research, analyze, and write about book suggestions that are beneficial to all industries. From marketing to real estate, to plain business, we offer various types of books that are fascinating reads, and no, we assure you these are not textbooks.

This week we are covering a Stanley Bing novel, “Sun Tzu Was a Sissy: Conquer Your Enemies, Promote Your Friends, and Wage the Real Art of War.”

One of the most exciting novels to read, Bing provides a whole new perspective to the philosophy of a once-renowned Chinese General. However, this book is not a philosophy book. This book applies the everyday workforce philosophy with a  thrill of satire, dry humor, motivation, aspiration, inspiration, and ancient philosophy. It is like military tactics meeting the workforce.

Throughout the novel, Bing proposes a new perspective: apply Tzu’s core philosophy and essence of military tactics to the workforce. Wild, huh? But it works! Though the book feels like a how-to guide to becoming a great leader, there is plenty of useful and inspiring information for followers as well.

There are nine parts in the novel, however, I will only provide a brief summary to two parts that we believe are the first step in succeeding: leadership. This blog will focus on, “Part One: Preparing Your Bad Self,” and “Part Four: Quashing the Sissy Spirit.”

Part One: Preparing Your Bad Self

“Fate is both Yin and Yang. It is ice. It is fire. It is winter and spring, summer and fall, and then winter again. Go with it. Go against it. That is victory,” Sun Tzu.

Bing, Stanley. Sun Tzu Was a Sissy (p. 5). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.

Analysis

Through each chapter in each part of the book, Bing provides a guided tour of self-improvement and conquering. Within these two categories, we felt that Part One was a calling. In the first chapter under part one, Beyond Yin and Yang: The Secret of Yinyang, Bing provides two real-person examples, Martha Stewart, who represents too much Yang, and Jerry Levin, who represent too much Yin.

In his analogical examples, Bing simplifies the concept. “Yang never drops its sword until death has made its decision who to take. Yin hopes that the other guy will die of a heart attack while he’s stabbing you,” ( p.6). However, if you combine the Yin and Yang together, you obviously get YinYang, which in its essence is winning, “It is Oneness, Sureness, Obnoxiousness. It is your warrior attitude. Beyond Yin. Beyond Yang. That’s so Old School. It’s YinYang. Get some,” (p.8).

After elaborating on Yin and Yang, Bing carries you into the next topic with a question that is also the chapter title, Are you Worth Dying For? (I’m Guessing Not). In summation, you must remember, you are your own army. You are not part of anybody else’s army, You create followers/supporters, not join them.

The last three parts of the chapter are dedicated to understanding the concept of “self-love,” and having people love you. The People’s Fate Star: You! Essentially, companies are usually deemed successful based on the quality of leadership. With leadership comes with having supporters- i.e. a company’s CEO who has loyal workers who are determined to achieve overall success. Why? Simply because they have respect for their leader.

Part One is a great starting point for readers as it is the focal point of the novel, and sets the overall tone of how this book turns out. Bing first tells you indirectly that you are not worth dying for, along with the secret of success, and then transitions to qualities of a leader through admiration of yourself, and then finally concludes that with becoming a leader, general, or CEO, you determine the outcome of your life and work. 

Part Four: Quashing the Sissy Spirit

“If it is not to your advantage, do nothing,” Sun Tzu. 

Bing, Stanley. Sun Tzu Was a Sissy (p. 86). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.

Analysis

The first chapter to part four is titled, Angry You, Invincible You. With a reference to the Three Stooges, Bing highly emphasizes that “other than patience and a hollow leg, anger is the single most important personal attribute that a warrior can possess. On a business terrain, the player who fights without anger is at a distinct disadvantage, because the real guns out there are furious all the time,” (p. 89-90). Anger, of course, is done best in moderation, which leads to Bing’s next topic, Finding your Button.

Through the process of finding your button comes the five-step progress of producing a sustained amount of anger.  A particular statement I found interesting and believe to apply to everyone is that “anger,” which in the professional terrain is transposed into competitiveness and determination, is sustained through the idea of having a competitor. The idea that company adversaries have the possibility to become more successful than the other, is, put simply, outraging. However, this concept of anger and competition has been around for a long time. We have just failed to use it to our ability.

The remainder of the chapter deals with relishing in competitors’ weaknesses, and what it takes to bust a move so to speak. “Great warriors may also lurk before they leap—but they have the capability, the need, to bust a move and make something happen,” (p.101).

Summation

As reiterated before, much of this book is dedicated to creating an excellent leader. However, there is also plenty of information on how to become a successful person in a company for those who do not aspire to be leaders by giving them the qualities of a leader. In other words, confidence. Bing’s analogies, references, and philosophy could be applied to entrepreneurs, aspiring leaders working under someone else, or the one-man-band type who carries their own clients.

We believe the purpose of this novel is to provide qualities of leadership to every aspect of society.

“Sun Tzu Was a Sissy,” is a comical, enlightening, and intrinsically knowledgeable book that enriches and inspires each reader to become their own leaders one day. What do you think society would like if all we had were leaders?? 

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