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What to Read: The Art of War

October 25, 2016
What to Read
Al Reingold

What's On the Bookshelf
Over the years, we’ve had numerous conversations with industry leaders and often one of the topics that we discuss is the latest book read. We thought it would be fun to share some of these booklover conversations with our readers. Here are what our industry leaders are reading.


 

The Art of War
by Sun Tzu and James Clavell
[Review by Al Reingold, Al Reingold Consulting]

I've been thinking a great deal about Sun Tzu recently.  Perhaps it's the natural tendency to hearken back to simpler times when confronted with modern challenges and disturbing world events, or maybe aspirations of peace, security and enlightened leadership are truly timeless.  In any event, despite a rather bewildering decision to make (for there have been quite a few phenomenal books written in the last 2,500 years) I have opted to return to “The Art of War,” a treatise on leadership that subscribes to the notion, already ancient at the time of its own writing, that “the true object of war is peace.”

Imagine the power of an entity, whether corporate or martial, that perceives with absolute certainty where its competition is strong, and where it is weak; that mobilizes itself quickly and decisively; that embodies and instills in everyone a winning spirit; and that knows when to engage, when to stay home, and how to make its own position unassailable.  Whether directing a company of troops or employees, the same axioms of leadership from “The Art of War” apply.

The leader who sets the strategy insightfully and deliberately, communicates it effectively, and then empowers the front lines to act individually, yet within a disciplined structure, creates an environment where success can flourish.  Sun Tzu writes, “Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.” In the context of the hospitality environment (consider well-executed, memorable banquets and events versus those we strive to forget), each individual plays a pivotal role in the theater of the hotel, undertaking decisive actions derived from incisive knowledge.  The coordinated power of such individuals can forge enduring relationships and create pinnacles of service on behalf of their flag.  This level of trust and strategic teamwork achieves victories for the cadre, victories with which unmotivated, disjointed or unfocused activities cannot compare.  “The Art of War” offers a beacon for developing heightened awareness among leaders – one that has not faded over the centuries.
 

©2016 Hospitality Upgrade
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