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Your chances of business success will improve if you and your teams understand and adopt the Principles of War.


The Principles of War shape military planning and execution throughout the world. As critical guides to conceptual thinking and practical application, these fundamental tenets are equally applicable to the battleground of international commercial operations, providing a sound foundation for business activity.


Selection and Maintenance of the Aim

Unity of effort and unity of purpose are provided when all understand what they are to achieve and why they are directed to achieve it. Deciding what to do, why to do it and keeping it in view as events unfold is the so called ‘Master Principle of War’. It is a process, an output and an outcome: clarity delivers effectiveness and efficiency.


Maintenance of Morale

Morale is the bellwether of confidence and the engine of motivation. Strong teams have high morale; weak teams have low morale. The glue that binds them is always more morale than physical.


Offensive Action

Without proactively creating and exploiting opportunities the best that can be achieved is maintenance of the status quo. The purpose of business and war is to seek advantage, which demands boldness in the face of competition.



Securing intellectual property is as crucial as the security of physical assets. Without good security competitive advantage is easily surrendered, resources are lost and freedom of action is denied.



Seizing the initiative provides a crucial advantage. Innovation, timing and exploitation of risk provide high gearing for the amount of resource expended.


Concentration of Force

Prioritising effort in time and space to seek local advantage provides the best path to overall success. Resources always need to be prioritised and their deployment sequenced to achieve maximum effect against the competition, matching weakness with strength.


Economy of Effort

Use the right amount of tools at the right time and in the right place. Too much resource expended against an objective is both wasteful and inefficient. No leader will ever have all the resources they wish for. Smart leaders know how to manage what is available.



Success and failure demand an ability to adapt. Plans provide a framework for action and action provokes reaction. So plans have to be flexible if they are to survive – as do those who execute them.



Mutual trust, goodwill and unity of purpose underpin successful partnerships. Organisations are collectives that are founded on cooperative behaviour. Under stress cooperation is placed under severe strain. Only those organisations that have fostered bonds of trust and goodwill survive.



Physical, financial and moral sustainability are critical to the success of any venture in war or in business. Without adequate Means, the projected Ways of a plan cannot be followed, and the Ends will never be achieved.

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