The 33 Strategies Of War
By: Robert Greene
Penguin Books; Reprint edition (December 14, 2007)
The 33 Strategies Of War is yet another monster of a book by Greene. Aren’t they all though? Where The 48 Laws of Power instructs on the ways of influence, The 33 Strategies Of War points to both specific and practical ways to come out on the top of any conflict. My biggest takeaways were learning when to conceal your true intentions, being unpredictable, and cultivating a reputation of deterrence. I enjoyed this book but became a bit exhausted after page 400. Mastery is still my favorite book by Greene.
Two of my favorite quotes:
Your mind is the starting point of all war and all strategy. A mind that is easily overwhelmed by emotion, that is rooted in the past instead of the present, that cannot see the world with clarity and urgency, will create strategies that will always miss the mark. To become a true strategist, you must take three steps. First, become aware of the weakness and illness that can take hold of the mind, warping its strategic powers. Second, declare a kind of war on yourself to make yourself move forward. Third, wage ruthless and continual battle on the enemies within you by applying certain strategies.
Never take it for granted that your past successes will continue into the future. Actually, your past successes are your biggest obstacle: every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today. You must cut yourself loose from the past and open your eyes to the present. Your tendency to fight the last war may lead to your final war.