Sun Tzu Art of War and the Enneagram

Sun Tzu (544–496 BC) was a Chinese military general, strategist, philosopher and minister to King Helü of Wu. From my study of his life and work at the Singapore Command and Staff College many years ago, he is most likely an Enneagram Personality Type 8.

His accomplishments includes the authorship of the world’s oldest military thesis “The Art of War” (Chinese: 孙子兵法, pinyin Sūnzǐ Bīngfǎ).


The Enneagram

As you can see from the diagram of the Enneagram above, the Enneagram Type 8 is also known as the Challenger.  And there is a line connecting the 8 to the point 5 (the Intellectual or Investigator).  When an Enneagram Type 8 moves to his 5, he can become analytical and pour out his thoughts in scholarly tomes and thesis like the Art of War.

The following are some of the excerpts from Sun Tzu

“The general who does not advance to seek glory, or does not withdraw to avoid punishment, but cares for only the people’s security and promotes the people’s interests, is the nation’s treasure.”

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

“Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack.”