Sun Tzu’s principles are timeless, and his strategies from 3rd century B.C. warfare give helpful hints on fighting battles in business!

Leaders don’t make followers. Leaders make leaders for the next generation. Great teachers want their students to surpass them in both knowledge and virtue. Sun Tzu’s big on taking care of your people. “Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death!”

Choose battles carefully. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” Get counsel, but choose counselors wisely. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” In a multitude of counselors there is victory.

Know your enemy. Remember The Godfather. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. In earlier times of fortified cities, scouts circled the city, hunting for unguarded weak spots to attack. Do this to your competitors, and know they’ll be returning the complement. And when they do, find ways to bring them within your walls and recruit them to your side. “The enemy’s spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out, tempted with bribes, led away and comfortably housed. Thus they will become double agents and available for our service.”

Hustle never ends. According to New York Angels Chairman Brian Cohen, in business if you’re fast–get faster, and if you’re smart–get smarter. “Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise; for the result is waste of time and general stagnation. Hence the saying: The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead; the good general cultivates his resources.”

Bend but don’t break. Change brings pain, but inflexibility on the course can be dangerous. Of course, without focus, we’re lost. Remember, the water is both the danger and the safety of the ship. Take opportunities with caution and make the most out of every circumstance.

Don’t throw good time after bad. Long drawn wars are always bad news. Hustle, fight and if you must, move on!