The Art of War

For Women by Chin-ning Chu.

Read it. You need it.

And, you don’t even know what you’re missing. I recently saw somewhere that CEO’s read an average of 60 books a year. So, of course, yours truly just joined a couple of book clubs and realized that it was time to stop binge watching Netflix and get smart in my downtime.

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I’m working for a Chinese based company and.holy.cow.  

What a cultural wake up call. The East and the West are like Yin and Yang, the sun and the moon, black and white. Think of every polar opposite that you can and that’s what I’m working with. You can’t have one without the other, opposites attract, even Paula Abdul got it down. You can learn something from your opposite.

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Just like I remember her.

It became very clear, very quickly that things in China are run very differently than they are in America.  Starting with; the method of communication, to the relationship structures, to the basic foundation of the culture within a company and family style. Put it this way, food and sleep are for the weak.  American’s talk too much. We put in too much detail, about everything. American’s like conflict.

The Chinese like to prepare.

They like to plan and meticulously navigate through every decision in their life. They do show emotion. They don’t like to show weakness in any way. Women do not smile in pictures.  And, when they tell you to do something, don’t say a word.  Just do it. Do it their way.

You are not an individual.

You are part of the greater good. It is what’s best for the company, family, and country as a whole. We’re all part of a team. Your opinion is important when you’ve proven yourself, but, a nice side note is that the managers in China do it backwards. You are perfect until you prove them wrong, in America you have to prove yourself first.

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There has been zero touching, but you get the idea.

So, as I said before, I decided that it was time to learn the Art of War (and I don’t mean in Mr. Timm’s AP English class at Hoppy High) this is different. Right on the cover it says, “it is not about war, it is about the art.” So, it was time for me to learn about the art of not being Western and tune into my chi, become one with myself.  It was time to learn everything I could about myself before I could learn about my enemy or everyone else around me.

Take a few minutes to meditate throughout the day.

Starting with first thing in the morning.   Feel your own breaths (I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m doing that but that’s not what the book recommends). Trust your intuition.  In other words, trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, step back and wait. Prepare, and wait, until it does feel right.

 

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Timing is everything.

“Don’t become your own worst enemy. Use your instincts to determine when the time is right to set your plans in motion.” As Master Sun put it, you control your destiny so don’t get too excited too fast and make impulsive decisions. As in, don’t be too American.

The best part of working for an international company is learning different cultural styles. Different ways of thinking and certainly different ways of operating. The Art of War for Women has taught me to slow down and process before speaking. It has taught me to think like a chess player, and to wait for the right time to present anything or submit something.

Most importantly, it has taught me to trust myself, get to know me, for who I am, and accept and enjoy that woman, as opposed to battling with myself.

Read it. You’ll thank me. 

 

 

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