Sun Tzu and the Art of Business

Now in its sixth printing. Translated into five languages.

To hand down the wisdom he had gained from years of battles, more than two millenia ago the famous Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote the classic work on military strategy, The Art of War. Because business, like warfare, is dynamic, fast-paced, and requires an effective and efficient use of scarce resources, modern executives have found value in Sun Tzu’s teachings. But The Art of War is arranged for the military leader and not the CEO, so making connections between ancient warfare and today’s corporate world is not always easy.

In Sun Tzu and the Art of Business, Mark R. McNeilly shows how the six strategic principles he developed from studying Sun Tzu’s Art of War can be successfully applied to modern business situations. Here are really two books in one: Mark McNeilly’s synthesis of Sun Tzu’s ideas into six strategic principles for the business executive, plus the entire text of Samuel B. Griffith’s popular translation of The Art of War.

By using modern examples throughout the book from GE, Microsoft, AT&T, BMW, Southwest Airlines, FedEx, and many others, he illustrates how, by following the wisdom of history’s most respected strategist, executives can avoid the pitfalls of management fads and achieve lasting competitive advantage.


“K-Mark, AT&T, Xerox and General Motors would have saved themselves billions of dollars if their past CEOs had read this book.”

Dr. Philip Kotler, Northwestern University.


“A must read for any serious executive, strategist or marketer. I constantly refer to the concepts McNeilly outlines and they never fail to provoke new insight into the challenges I must address.”

David Harkleroad, CMO, Hay Group; ex-head of intelligence at IBM


“Among shelves stuffed with superficial misinterpretations of The Art of War, Mark McNeilly offers what no one else can: an accessible and practical guide for applying Sun Tzu’s true philosophy to business. There are but a handful of experts who have studied Sun Tzu as thoroughly as McNeilly. Fewer still can bring decades of real-world management experience to the challenge of interpreting these ancient principles for use in modern business competition.”

Kaihan Krippendorff, CEO of Outthinker and author of Outthink the Competition


“This book is fun and serious…a fast and interesting read. I recommend it to anyone interested in strategy.”

Academy of Management Executive


“If you’ve ever felt that busienss is like war, a new business book based on the teachings of an ancient Chinese warrior has much to offer.”

Entrepreneur Magazine


“Finally someone wrote a book on The Art of War that makes sense.”

Bryan Bloom, Chief Operating Officer, The C/W Company


Your book Sun Tzu and the Art of Business is my business BIBLE… I have shared it with many others in my work place. Thank you!

Douglas Fisher, Community EMS