Sun Tzu


Inspirational Quotes by Sun Tzu about Life, Leadership, Tactics and War


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Sun Tzu Quotes about Leadership


“Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.”

Sun Tzu, Art of War


“When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”

Sun Tzu, Art of War


“Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.”

Sun Tzu, Art of War

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Sun Tzu Quotes about Life


“Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War

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Sun Tzu Quotes about Tactics & Strategy

Sun Tzu Quotes about Tactics & Strategy

“Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat.”

Sun Tzu, Art of War


“All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

Sun Tzu, Art of War


“At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.”

Sun Tzu, Art of War

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Sun Tzu Quotes about War and Violence

Sun Tzu Quotes about War

“Sun Tzu said: 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.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War


“Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”

Sun Tzu, Art of War


“Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.”

Sun Tzu,  Art of War

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