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Sun Tzu Was a Sissy    by Stanley Bing order for
Sun Tzu Was a Sissy
by Stanley Bing
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The initial quotes (from Sun Tzu and Bugs Bunny) begin the hilarity. In his Preface, Stanley Bing introduces the thousand year old Chinese classic, The Art of War, telling us that Sun Tzu's legend lingered longer than those of the legion of warlords who followed him 'possibly because his name was easier to remember, but also because in general writers have the last word.' Bing tells us 'there's no business like Tzu business, not today', that Sun Tzu 'was a sissy', whose 'Tztuff' is no longer relevant. Instead, he offers to teach the Western warrior the modern way to 'make war and enjoy the subsequent booty.' Bing defines different types of corporate war from 'Itty-bitty' (one on one) to 'The Big One' (a merger). The book's sections include 'Preparing Your Bad Self', 'The Tao of Ow', 'Quashing the Sissy Spirit', and 'Whistle While You Work'.

Bing looks at the Yin to Yang ratio of warriors like Martha Stewart and Jerry Levin, and defines his own 'Yinyang' approach. In 'Keep on Truculent', he makes Arnold 'I'll be back' Schwarzenegger the role model. He explains 'Executive Attention Deficit Disorder (EADD)'. A comparison of True and 'Tzu Virtues' is very funny, and sadly reminiscent of my previous working life. Bing tells us to avoid 'underkill' which results in comeback scenes like that of Hamlet's Father. There's a management model of the Three Stooges, a 'Five-Step Program' to grow your anger, and a warning to 'watch out for short men'. Bing highlights the need to fight as persistently as Tolkien's Orcs ('Can you see them hanging around the bowling alley having a few beers on a Wednesday night?'). And he reminds us that the winner writes the story 'except in Stallone movies.'

Need a break from your own corporate battles? Dip into Sun Tzu Was a Sissy; you might even find a few insights hiding under all the humor.

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