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30 Mar 2014

Getting People to Not Know You: What Sun Tzu Really Meant

Sun Tzu said in the Art of War that it is not enough to "Know Yourself, Know Your Enemy", we also must ensure that our opponent does not know the real us.  This is what he meant by 'Deception' - "When strong, appear weak, when weak, appear strong".  The famous Sun Tzu quote: "All war is based on deception" does not mean Sun Tzu teach us to deceive people and be dis-honest.  At the beginning Sun Tzu said "Moral" is of utmost importance, thus we know that Sun Tzu is not a book for cheats.

To Get People Not to Know You could mean the following 5 Things:
  1. Be Humble, for humility gives you flexibility if things go wrong
  2. Under Promise, so that you could Over Deliver easily.  If you over-promise, you would stand a high chance of under-delivering
  3. Be Confident, especially when things are uncertain.  For that confidence gives people confidence in you, and that will translate into support, which in turn will make you stronger
  4. Leave Questions Unanswered.  Because you answer everything, there is nothing for people to come to you again. Also, some questions are best left unanswered so that people can discover it for themselves
  5. Keep Your Secrets Secret, like the famous Coca-Cola formula is only known by 4 living beings in this world.  That enables Coke to maintain its leadership in the marketplace
However, To Get People to NOT Know You does not mean the following 5 things:
  1. Confusing People with Unclear Stands 
  2. Being Secretive about your intention, for this will backfire and people will hate you for that.  Like many retailers like to advertise goods at very low prices when there is no stock, and they want customers to come and pick up other normal price goods.  
  3. Using the same trick twice.  A trick, once known, cannot be used again. 
  4. Avoiding Answers when Questioned.  This is not the same as leaving questions unanswered. this is evasive and will instead invoke more suspicion
  5. Boasting, for it will quickly lead you to 'over promise under deliver'
By Andy Ng, whose courses using Sun Zi Art of War has now evolved into the following 5 practical courses for everyone: Win Without Fighting, Leadership with Sun Zi Art of War, HR Management with Art of War, Sun Zi Art of War for Sales and Goal Setting and Achievement using Sun Zi Art of War. For details, click here.  Related articles on Sun Tzu Art of War includes:
  1. Leadership with Sun Zi in 5 Ways
  2. Top 7 Ways to Win Without Fighting
  3. How Sun Tzu Made all Leaders Redundant
  4. How the Government used Art of War in Little India Riot
  5. How to Deceive without Cheating People
  6. Hard on the Problem Soft on the People: 2 Key Pillars of Sun Zi
  7. How Marissa Mayer Looted a House on Fire at Yahoo!
  8. The 36 Stratagems that Make MacDonald's So Rich
  9. The Intellectual Fool Meets the Practical Wizard
  10. How our Finance Minister Kill with a Borrowed Knife in PIC
  11. 20 Ways to Win Without Fighting

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