30 June 2017

Google Staff on Leadership and Sun Zi's Art of War

Often, people want to know if Ancient Chinese Wisdom so strongy promoted by me. such as Sun Zi's Art of War is still applicable to our modern times. Let's compare what the most 'up-to-date' creative geniuses at Google think with that of Sun Zi. Here is the answer.
Recently, an article about how Google employees wanted about their managers was widely referred in Facebook and other social media. This post compared the list of leadership attributes with those from Sun Zi's Art of War. Yes, The Art of War is not just about strategies but also of leadership. You will find that Google staff's list is just a subset of Sun Zi. It shows the Art of War is very much up to date and useful even for today.

The article is Google Employees Weighed In on What Makes a Highly Effective Manager. Technical Expertise Came in Dead Last. I summarized it in the mind-map below:

The article has a list of 8 items. However, the author gave another list of 3 things that the employees wanted. This is strange. Why do you repeat the list again? The two list can be matched as shown in the mind-map above. It turns out the purple color token 1 of even-keeled bosses, which I rephrased as calmness was not in the earlier 8-item list.

Sun Zi's Art of War on Leadership:

The Art of War gave 5 factors and 7 measures for evaluating the potential success of a warfare against another. The premise is that one only start a war if one is certain of victory first. So plan, calculate and compare is to be done first. Sun Zi also gives a list of 5 attributes for a commander. The Art of War list can be matched with Google staff's list as shown in the mind-map below:

Takeaway Lessons:

The Sun Zi's list captures all of Google's two lists and more. More on Sun Zi's leadership can be found at Sun Zi Art of War-6: Leadership Skills and Creating HPO

The Art of War teaching is very applicable for our modern times. It shows the wisdom and power of the Ancient Chinese Philosophers and thinkers.  More of their teaching can be found at  Sun Zi and Other Strategists

Lim Liat (c) 30 June 2017

24 June 2017

What are the differences among wisdom, knowledge, and skill?

Wisdom is about discernment. Discerning the right and wrong, the truth and lies, the benefits and harms, the intentions of the heart. Then it takes boldness or gut or courage to do the right things and punish the wrongs.

Knowledge is about knowing the facts and knowing the how to. How do things work? What are the causes and effects? What are the solutions? Identifying the problems come from wisdom. Deciding the harms and benefits from the solutions of knowledge come from wisdom. Tangibles belong to knowledge intangibles needs wisdom.

What then is a skill? Wisdom relates to the heart, knowledge relates to the mind, and skill relates to the body. I know the theory of music, the keys of pianos, but to play a beautiful piece of music, I need to practice on the pianos for hours and days to have the skill to play a good song.

So what?

Well, an engineer could be a very bad technician. He may be able to design a new air-cond but can't repair one. An educated Ph.D. may be a crook or a spoiled brat. So we can understand what is happening to people behavior and most of all, always try to discern the intentions of people and their values.

Confucius' teaching, summarized in 弟子规:
弟子规 ,圣人训: 首孝弟, 次谨信 。泛爱众 ,而亲仁 。有余力。则学文.

Get wisdom first, trained the heart to honor and love, then train the brain to get knowledge and then the body to get the skills to work productively.

Now we can see the problem of our modern education system. It inverts the order, teaching knowledge and skills first, and leaving wisdom as supplementary with little time given to its teaching.

Lim Liat (c) 24 June 2017