02 March 2016

The Complement to Sun Zi's Art of War - Gui Gu Zi's Diplomacy

The teachings of Sun Zi's Art of War and Gui Gu Zi's Diplomacy complement each other to give a complete work in developing the winning strategies and getting them sold. If you could not find your answer in Sun Zi's work, then Gui Gu Zi's wisdom will likely to be the one that has it. Sun Zi's is very task and mind oriented whereas Gui Gu Zi is very people and heart oriented. It is engineering of SunZi to psychology of GuiGuZi.
Most people, especially of the West, know about Sun Zi's Art of War. Very little is known of Gui Gu Zi's Diplomacy. However, in terms of impact, the two students of Gui Gui Zi, Su Qin, and Zhang Yi were the ones that influenced the politics and warfare of the then period of the Warring States. It was Su Qin that persuaded the six weaker states to unite (vertically) together against the stronger Qin state. It was Zhang Yi who persuaded Qin to use the horizontal alliance to break the unity and eventually conquer the whole of China. This post is the essence of Sun Zi and Gui Gu Zi's wisdom and how they complement each other. If you find Sun Zi's strategic mindset lacking, you will probably get your answer from Gui Gu Zi's teaching and vice versa.

Sun Zi's Art of War
(Calculate & Compare)
Gui Gu Zi's Diplomacy
(Open & Close)
How to win against the enemy
How to win together against others
Partnering - Build Relationships
Development of Winning Strategies
Development & Selling/Persuasion of Your Proposed Strategies
Addresses the Mind ---- IQ
Address the Heart --- EQ and then convince the mind of the proposed strategies.
Task-Oriented with People Analysis
(given the mission, how do we exploit the weaknesses of people)
People Oriented with Situational Analysis
(how do the mission and the desires of people are matched)
Hard Deterministic Planning  TOWS
Soft Handling of Personalities & Uncertainty
If Sun Zi is about economics
Then Gui Gu Zi is about behavior economics - predictable irrationality!

Of course, as they both deals with strategies and execution of strategies, there are overlapping areas. But this post is meant to highlight their different perspectives and orientation. Sun Zi did not cover much about knowing and selection of people. Gui Gu Zi teaches you much about how to know a person and how to make the best use of him. Sun Zi tells you how to employ spies. He says that you need to very wise to be able to use spies. But he did not teach you about this particular aspect of wisdom. Gui Gu Zi will tell how to discover the truths, the very wisdom needed to discern who are the spies and the counterspies.

Lim Liat (c) 2 March 2016

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