Essay title: The Art of War
There were several examples over the course of my internship where I was able to see Sun Tzu’s principles in action. One main example of this was my division’s attempt to expand its operations into Southern California. Colliers International, the company I interned for has an interesting corporate structure as it is not a single entity, but rather a compilation of over 20 companies under the Colliers heading. The Los Angeles area was considered a territory of a different company of the Colliers tree; however, my boss was intent on expanding the practices of his division, appraisal, into this area of the country. Needless to say, this situation was very delicate and required skillful planning and management to become successful.
He used several Sun Tzu lessons to accomplish his goals.He used the following Sun Tzu principal, “In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.” Mr. Paulus negotiated with the Los Angeles company and in the end secured the use of space in their offices to start his practice. By using their resources he significantly reduced his start-up costs which allowed him to divert the assets to strengthen other areas.
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This allowed him to increase the scope of the practice which would have taken him several years to attain on his own.As Managing Director of business practice, Mr. Paulus seemed like an ideal model for comparing the modern businessman to Sun Tzu’s general.
After careful observation I began to see correlations between the two. For example, Sun Tzu says, “He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning may be called a heaven-born captain.” I routinely saw Mr. Paulus looking for any possible angle to improve his business and build his client base.
He would even come to me for advice on gaining an edge on his competition. This humbleness allows Mr. Paulus to operate much more efficiently and gain an advantage on opposition that does not value the opinions of all team members.