The Art Of War

Fall Term 2018

Over the last half-century, this text has become a handbook for people all around the world seeking to transform their approach to conflict and leadership, whether in warfare, in business or simply in everyday life. When a squadron leader targets his objective or a boardroom falls under siege, when our neighbors join a zoning battle to protect local parkland, we may find modern-day warriors turning to the Sun Tzu. Clearly they have a conviction that its ancient wisdom has considerable value today. But how might we apply this Chinese text to our lives in a genuine manner? How can it teach us to work more effectively with conflict in a global world?

Each student will write a six to eight-page (6-8) research and reaction paper on The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Any translation is acceptable; however, one recommended translation is by Thomas Cleary, ISBN # 1-59030-225-7. This treatise can also be found on the website Student must also use 3 additional sources regarding The Art of War; these could be peer reviewed journals, articles, additional books on the topic.

In this research and reaction paper, each student will relate the text to their personal struggles and accomplishments in this class and at JWU orto the significant challenges or achievements they have experienced in their lives.

Please answer each question below thoroughly in your response and reaction paper:

  • Are sage commanders born extraordinary or are they trained? How does one become a sage commander and exercise these distinct leadership qualities? What qualities of the sage commander do you feel are most valuable within the SEEM industry today?
  • The book suggests that everyone is a sage commander; a leader in their own sphere. How has your education at Johnson & Wales University prepared you for leadership roles within the SEEM industry (Reflective Question)?
  • Give some examples of the contemplative approach to reading, understanding and working with the Art of War.
  • What is the relationship between trusting the world and shaping the world? Why do you think there is a distinct difference in this relationship? How does this difference effect you as a future leader in the SEEM industry?
  • Review some examples of present “chaos” within the SEEM industry. Discuss the leadership and negotiation tactics that leadership is presently taking to reduce the chaos. Did these actions help to resolve the situation, or create more chaos?

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