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The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu's Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work

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Forget everything you think you know about strength, strategy and success. This brilliant adaptation of the ancient masterpiece The Art of War shows women how to use Sun Tzu’s philosophy to win in every aspect of life. Would you like to transform your weaknesses into strengths? Succeed at work without compromising your ethics? Integrate your style and personal philosophy in Forget everything you think you know about strength, strategy and success. This brilliant adaptation of the ancient masterpiece The Art of War shows women how to use Sun Tzu’s philosophy to win in every aspect of life. Would you like to transform your weaknesses into strengths? Succeed at work without compromising your ethics? Integrate your style and personal philosophy into every action you take? If so, this book is for you. In The Art of War for Women, bestselling author Chin-Ning Chu brings the eternal wisdom of philosopher-general Sun Tzu to women looking to gain a better understanding of who they are – and, more importantly, who they want to be. In the West, when we think of war, we imagine battle, casualties, brutality. But Sun Tzu, the man who wrote the Art of War some 2,500 years ago, was Chinese, and the Chinese think of war differently than we do in the West. In their view, war does not revolve around fighting. It is about determining the most efficient way of gaining victory with the least amount of conflict. That’s why Sun Tzu’s Art of War is particularly appropriate for women. Let’s face it, as intelligent and accomplished as we may be, there are very few of us who are comfortable with direct confrontation or situations where our triumph means someone else’s defeat. We are natural negotiators and problem solvers; most of us prefer win-win situations to those in which winner-takes-all. But there is another reason The Art of War is particularly appropriate for us. Although Sun Tzu’s book is about the application of strategies, every one of those strategies begins with having a deep understanding of the people and the world around us. They also require us to understand ourselves – our strengths and weaknesses, our goals and fears. In other words, the aim is not to apply a series of rules coldly and dispassionately, but rather to integrate ourselves and our unique talents into the strategies we will employ. This is not a feel-good book. (But you will feel good after reading it.) It is not a motivational book. (But you will be motivated to achieve what you want, once you are done.) Ultimately, its purpose it to provide women with the strategies we all need to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of our goals and dreams. Sun Tzu’s Art of War is the most influential book on strategy ever published, selling tens of millions of copies worldwide in several editions. Written by one of today’s foremost authorities on Sun Tzu, The Art of War for Women is sure to become a classic in its own right.


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Forget everything you think you know about strength, strategy and success. This brilliant adaptation of the ancient masterpiece The Art of War shows women how to use Sun Tzu’s philosophy to win in every aspect of life. Would you like to transform your weaknesses into strengths? Succeed at work without compromising your ethics? Integrate your style and personal philosophy in Forget everything you think you know about strength, strategy and success. This brilliant adaptation of the ancient masterpiece The Art of War shows women how to use Sun Tzu’s philosophy to win in every aspect of life. Would you like to transform your weaknesses into strengths? Succeed at work without compromising your ethics? Integrate your style and personal philosophy into every action you take? If so, this book is for you. In The Art of War for Women, bestselling author Chin-Ning Chu brings the eternal wisdom of philosopher-general Sun Tzu to women looking to gain a better understanding of who they are – and, more importantly, who they want to be. In the West, when we think of war, we imagine battle, casualties, brutality. But Sun Tzu, the man who wrote the Art of War some 2,500 years ago, was Chinese, and the Chinese think of war differently than we do in the West. In their view, war does not revolve around fighting. It is about determining the most efficient way of gaining victory with the least amount of conflict. That’s why Sun Tzu’s Art of War is particularly appropriate for women. Let’s face it, as intelligent and accomplished as we may be, there are very few of us who are comfortable with direct confrontation or situations where our triumph means someone else’s defeat. We are natural negotiators and problem solvers; most of us prefer win-win situations to those in which winner-takes-all. But there is another reason The Art of War is particularly appropriate for us. Although Sun Tzu’s book is about the application of strategies, every one of those strategies begins with having a deep understanding of the people and the world around us. They also require us to understand ourselves – our strengths and weaknesses, our goals and fears. In other words, the aim is not to apply a series of rules coldly and dispassionately, but rather to integrate ourselves and our unique talents into the strategies we will employ. This is not a feel-good book. (But you will feel good after reading it.) It is not a motivational book. (But you will be motivated to achieve what you want, once you are done.) Ultimately, its purpose it to provide women with the strategies we all need to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of our goals and dreams. Sun Tzu’s Art of War is the most influential book on strategy ever published, selling tens of millions of copies worldwide in several editions. Written by one of today’s foremost authorities on Sun Tzu, The Art of War for Women is sure to become a classic in its own right.

30 review for The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu's Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really did not enjoy this book. First, it was braggy. And not in an "I am accomplished so you should respect my thoughts on this subject" way, but straight up just braggy. Second, I thought the author talked down to woman and made comparisons between men and woman that were completely outdated and inapporopriate. Third, I don't think the author did a very good good job using Sun Tzu's Art of War and translating it to a context that would work for woman. This book just did not work. There are s I really did not enjoy this book. First, it was braggy. And not in an "I am accomplished so you should respect my thoughts on this subject" way, but straight up just braggy. Second, I thought the author talked down to woman and made comparisons between men and woman that were completely outdated and inapporopriate. Third, I don't think the author did a very good good job using Sun Tzu's Art of War and translating it to a context that would work for woman. This book just did not work. There are so many better books out there on this subject, this book is not worth reading even if you get it for free.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hana Yan

    For most of my life I’ve been a misogynist whilest being unaware. Until I hit my second puberty and period cramps started feeling like kittens scratching in my womb, my mood swings increasingly unexpected and frequent, and since I began started working in a male-dominated and oriented environment, that I started rethinking about the struggles of being a woman. Then I became the armpit-hair growing feminist...(Just joking, I was just a keyboard activist who couldn't find her epilator. I have sinc For most of my life I’ve been a misogynist whilest being unaware. Until I hit my second puberty and period cramps started feeling like kittens scratching in my womb, my mood swings increasingly unexpected and frequent, and since I began started working in a male-dominated and oriented environment, that I started rethinking about the struggles of being a woman. Then I became the armpit-hair growing feminist...(Just joking, I was just a keyboard activist who couldn't find her epilator. I have since resumed my grooming habits, and am proud to say I am a mere-feminist.) For that, I would like to sincerely apologize to my genderkind: I’m sowwie. Not for the lack of shaving, I mean. Before reviewing the book, I will preface this by introducing myself as a 24 year old young Asian woman on her second job of her career. I believe in equality, but incline more towards equity. That is to say, I hold a somewhat ‘traditional’ view on a woman’s role in society. My father used to tell me when I was a kid: ‘You’re a girl, so you have to do the housework. There’s no point in me giving you an education when you’ll be someone else’s daughter in future.’ Thanks dad, then why do you always bug me about giving allowance now that I have a job! Why do you suddenly pull the you're-my-daughter-so-that's-your-duty card?! HUH?! HUH?! Anyway. I think any woman who needs help manoeuvring in society and the work place should read this. Having read Sun Tze Art of War in Mandarin, I find that this book has just the right amount of stories to illustrate how to apply the stratagems. If you are one of those who think that equality at the workplace means calling out on misogynism and/or reject your femininity (ha ha, fe-me-nee-nee-tee, what a mouthful) to be equally successful, this is not the book for you. What this books implores is for women to discard the notion that we have to act and speak like men in order to move forward in the workplace. Using the attributes unique to us, we can climb the ladder in red carpets and glass shoes. The writer did not set off to write a one-size-fits-all book nor elaborate much on the examples she had provided. Therefore her illustrations may come off as skimpy or too general. However, there are merits this method. Had you read enough books on strategies and social theories, you will know that there is a certain mind set to be in before embarking on the reading journey. More specifically, the answers can only be found upon reflection of yourself and in relation to your own environment. You will then be able to create a path that works well for you, and you, only. That's the only homework the reader might have to do. I personally found this book very empowering. I started to see myself as a working individual rather than obsess over the demarcation of one gender and the other. Quite motivated, I made an appointment with my hairdresser last weekend. Because battle gear, goddammit. There, I gave the instruction to the hairdresser, ‘Make me look like a professional, Tino.’ ‘What?’ ‘Make me look respectable. I will no longer stand for sexism at the workplace and out of it.’ ‘If you want to pit with men, your hair must be as short as theirs, you know? A woman can’t look pretty and be taken seriously.’ ‘You sir, obviously do not know the Art of War.’ The haircut was shit, but you get my point.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vickie Figueroa

    Difficult book for me to read. I made it through the first few chapters, but kept putting it down, then reading a few pages, skipping a few. Finally, I gave up this week. I didn't find this book super interesting or helpful. A few nuggets on strategy and building alliances with key colleagues, but time to admit defeat and move on.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Day

    Having read Thick Face Black Heart I expected this book to be equally as insightful. I was disappointed. I am sure there are women who would find it useful but the target audience was not me. Having read Sun Tzu's Art of War and parried with many a cunning, artful or skillful man in my own journey - and both lost and won - I found the perspective from which Chin-Ning Chu wrote a little too much 'the victim' for my liking. Still, this is a personal perspective and in saying that, I found the odd g Having read Thick Face Black Heart I expected this book to be equally as insightful. I was disappointed. I am sure there are women who would find it useful but the target audience was not me. Having read Sun Tzu's Art of War and parried with many a cunning, artful or skillful man in my own journey - and both lost and won - I found the perspective from which Chin-Ning Chu wrote a little too much 'the victim' for my liking. Still, this is a personal perspective and in saying that, I found the odd gem here and there. An interration of what every woman in battle should know, or at least learned, this book is pitched firmly at the novice in battle and the battles of business. There was so much potential left untapped. For me, it failed to live up to the sales pitch...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    It was not very helpful. Lots of advice and facts given in this book are pretty well known. Even though the book is geared towards a female audience, I was surprised the book didn't address a lot of feminist scholarship or studies on women in the workplace, specifically, the problems and how to overcome them. I wouldn't recommend it. It did, however, get me really interested in the Art of War by Sun Tzu and now I am going to read that!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nenette

    Just superb! A very helpful book specifically written/translated for women, though men can definitely benefit from it too. It’s not something that you will read then relegate to your shelf to eat dust. You would want this book on a place where you can easily reach for it, then read snippets again. Highly recommended!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Allicia

    the art of war was recommended to me, so I saw this one at the store and thought ?why not? it has been helpful but I only read bits and parts then set it down and continue pondering what it is telling me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    This is a great book for women who work in business and have a corporate or 9-5 type of job.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily D

    Learned a couple things from this book. First, I don’t read enough books by women. And second, I’m glad I didn’t try to read the Art of War with no context, since I would have missed the point. All of the points. Art of War for Women is a wisdom book—some parts seem obvious, some seem arcane, and some hit you like a sack of bricks. This week is performance evaluation week at work, and I would be having a much better time if I had heard Sun Tzu’s advice about ambition and timing about six months a Learned a couple things from this book. First, I don’t read enough books by women. And second, I’m glad I didn’t try to read the Art of War with no context, since I would have missed the point. All of the points. Art of War for Women is a wisdom book—some parts seem obvious, some seem arcane, and some hit you like a sack of bricks. This week is performance evaluation week at work, and I would be having a much better time if I had heard Sun Tzu’s advice about ambition and timing about six months ago. Ching Ning Chu adds a lot of material to supplement the text. Some are case studies about how to apply the teachings as women in the workplace. Other parts have essays about balancing feminine and masculine traits, knowing yourself, and corporate espionage. Her approach to lying, reporting misconduct, and navigating workplace conflict is as utilitarian as her source material, making “Art of War for Women” more interesting and more ethically iffy than other self help books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly Vipond

    Lots of good points and thought provoking. A few sexist remarks. As a Canadian I thought her anti-American remarks were funny though. 😂

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ana-shea Fann

    I'm on page 7. I'm already a little pissed at how she talks about women AND men. Men are brutes and women are wily beguilers because of centuries of subjugation. Maybe she needs a history book because, rules or not, women as an entire group are not these delicate, live-to-please flowers she's making them out to be... I picked this up because I wanted another interpretation of The Art of War. I most certainly have that. If you can manage to lay aside the June Cleaver era notion of femininity, thou I'm on page 7. I'm already a little pissed at how she talks about women AND men. Men are brutes and women are wily beguilers because of centuries of subjugation. Maybe she needs a history book because, rules or not, women as an entire group are not these delicate, live-to-please flowers she's making them out to be... I picked this up because I wanted another interpretation of The Art of War. I most certainly have that. If you can manage to lay aside the June Cleaver era notion of femininity, though, there are good things to be found in this book. You just have to be willing to wade through a bit of pink bullshit to get to it. It's not the best, it's not the worst, but I think this is meant for an audience that isn't me. After finishing it, I can say that there are some good nuggets of truth, but this book is definitely meant for someone who has no intention of reading the Art of War and/or is young an inexperienced OR has a traditionalist viewpoint on exactly what masculinity and femininity mean.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Narasu

    I was having some trouble leading projects at work when a friend who is successful at navigating the corporate world suggested that I read The Art of War. This classic Chinese book by Sun Tzu is a must-read at business school apparently. It's also a cryptic text that, outside of a class, might be difficult to interpret. So when I happened upon the Art of War for Women while browsing the library catalogy, I thought, "Sweet, the cliff notes version." I should some day go back and read the real Art o I was having some trouble leading projects at work when a friend who is successful at navigating the corporate world suggested that I read The Art of War. This classic Chinese book by Sun Tzu is a must-read at business school apparently. It's also a cryptic text that, outside of a class, might be difficult to interpret. So when I happened upon the Art of War for Women while browsing the library catalogy, I thought, "Sweet, the cliff notes version." I should some day go back and read the real Art of War, since this book is basically a business book for women peppered with an outline and quotes from The Art of War. Still,it was a good book and gave me a lot to think about. I'd recommend it but it's not a substitute for reading the real deal.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Desirae

    If you see the world as a place where things can be split simplistically into black/white, yes/no, true/false then this book will speak to you. If you are instead the kind of person who sees the world as a place where there are many degrees to be found in between then it is my opinion that this book will be a great disappointment to you. It wasn't bad enough that I want the time back I spent reading it but I would be lying if I didn't express that I have deep regrets that my time could of been be If you see the world as a place where things can be split simplistically into black/white, yes/no, true/false then this book will speak to you. If you are instead the kind of person who sees the world as a place where there are many degrees to be found in between then it is my opinion that this book will be a great disappointment to you. It wasn't bad enough that I want the time back I spent reading it but I would be lying if I didn't express that I have deep regrets that my time could of been better spent instead.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This was an interesting book, definitely worth the read. There were passages that made me think of work situations which I have encountered, and one chapter in particular that made me question my own goals and philosophy. I found the philosophical base of the text to be better founded than More Plato, Less I can´t say that I´d prefer to read book as opposed to a novel, but it´s good to mix it up sometimes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    This was a good read, but left me wanting more. I think this was a natural outcome of trying to boil down a very complex work into a thin and easy to read volume. The strongest points were: Her list of 8 ways to repackage womanhood. (However, this might make some feminists' heads spin.) Strategies for overcoming office jealousy Discontentment as the root of creativity Selling yourself first, then your ideas

  16. 4 out of 5

    Octavia

    listening to this via audio on my daily commute... it has become so useful in my day to day interactions thus far looking forward to learning more about myself as I continue to listen... Finished today... I learned that the true art in winning any battle in life or work is having the strength to know how to identify your strengths and weaknesses and what resources to use to enhance and/or compensate them...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    If you work in a business environment such as sales, management, or are a CEO this book is perfect for you. It takes a bit of work to translate for your individual and particular situation if you are not in a business position. It's great for trying to find balance and a sense of peace in yourself in order to succeed. Sun Tzu also emphasizes and teaches you to know yourself, know your enemy, and know your environment.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mysteryfan

    The Art of War for Women by Chin-Ning Chu. Someone on my flist recommended this. It's extremely good. AN impressive amount of scholarship went into it - she went back and translated the earliest known copy of Sun Tzu's work and she and her editors read four or five others. Her points are well taken. I'm going to have to read it several times. It can be as impenetrable as Art of War itself. Her writing is clear enough. It's that the book is very meaty - lots to digest.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kosak

    Great cliff note version of the ancient Art of War book I tried reading the original Art of War a few times and found it boring and frustrating to try to make modern sense of ancient thoughts. This book delivered in clarifying the original book and framing the ideas for women and the challenges that we face. One aspect that was distracting were the numerous grammar and spelling errors in the electronic version. This weakness lended the book less credibility for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Ikram

    This book took ancient Taoist concepts and related them to practical business solutions. At times the book seemed a bit over-simplified with only a few pieces of the original "Art of War" text. I still enjoyed the stories and interpretation. I think any businesswoman who reads it would take away something positive from the text, and I think that's what makes a good book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura Davis

    Don't let the title fool you. This is an excellent book rooted in ancient Chinese war principles that's actually about "winning without fighting". The beauty of this version is it's adapted for women in busieness.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This is my 3rd time through this book. I've found using these strategies now come naturally for me; not only at work but in everyday life. This book has helped me gain the knowledge needed to place myself a step or two in ahead of those I most need to believe in me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I'm no longer wearing my "glass slippers" to work . . . This book is a must read for all women who were brought up to be "nice." I'm learning that we can be nice and powerful at the same time, even when working with people who don't place much value on niceness.

  24. 4 out of 5

    mossum

    I will first say that I have not yet read The Art of War. Then I will say that my impression of Chu's The Art of War for Women is that it is a rather cheesy rip-off. If I do read the original Art someday, I hope it is not as cheesy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ivoonaa

    self-help books... yuck yuck yuck. somebody actually thought i would like to read this, and bought me this book for christmas. to make it all worse, i tried to read it... the biggest mistake i've ever made.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Betsy)

    Very complex. Found the information useful while reading each example but think it would be hard to apply in real life as there are so many scenarios to remember for each approach. Also felt that while she was attempting to break stereotyping of women, she often upheld stereotypes of men.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    Wow! I want to become a female warrior in this modern society; that's why I read this book. It's not easy to apply but it is definitely worth it. There are some problems I have in my own work and this book really unveils the solution. ;) Highly recommended.. :P

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Howard

    It's not a feel-good book, but it will make you feel good after reading it. I'm adding this book to the Women's Business Book Club of Philadelphia's book list - it's probably one of the most practical business books I've ever read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Enjoyed the book. Took me a little bit to get into it but once I understood the how the book should be perceived, I enjoyed it. One area builds on another but then once you have read it all, you can go back to any place and just use that area.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Felicia Williams

    This book offered some great in-depth examples of what women go through in the workplace and has some excellent strategies and tips on how to maneuver them in the work place. I'm so glad I picked this book up from the library.

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