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History Channel’s The Men Who Built America

I recently watched the History Channel’s program Sun Tzu’s Art of War which in 90 minutes did, arguably, the best job of not only explaining the classic’s lessons but, more importantly, showing how they all dove tail together. If you have any interest in strategy, for business or war, watch the program.

The program reminded me of a controversy that raged back in the 1990s over whether or not, war was a valid metaphor for business. As I read the views of various business book authors I found myself sitting on the proverbial fence. Part of me felt that it was true that business is warfare minus the bloodshed but another part wanted to believe that it was a more gentlemanly affair. Over time I came to accept that business truly is war if you want to build anything significant. If your goal is to settle for running a small Main Street shop out in Springfield, you maybe able to get away with telling yourself that it’s not. The reason for business being war is that building anything significant requires that you upset the status quo and ruffle some feathers. This is going to generate push back from vested interests.

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