From Master Sun

There is a verse from Sun Tzu’s Art of War that is not very often quoted:


凡用兵之法,将受命于君,合军聚合… 军有所不击,城有所不攻,地有所不争,君命有所不受。(08章 九变)

The Ruler (CEO/Manager) may be the leader of the country (company/organization), but when it comes to the affairs of war (marketing/sales), it is best that he leave it in the hands of the General (marketing/sales exec) , 

A wise Ruler “should” never interfere with plans of the General (用人不疑 疑人不用), who, by his appointment, is entrusted with the all-important task organizing the military operation (thus 将受命于君,合军聚合). Failing to so will invariably lead to conflicting orders and ultimately confusion within the organization. His job is to ensure sufficient support (money/authority) be supplied to the troops upfront and… stay out of the way.

On the other hand, a capable General should never fear making decisions that go against your boss (assuming it is indeed for the good of the organization). He/she should know what battles to fight or avoid, which lands to enter or exit, and what orders to listen or ignore ( thus 军有所不击,城有所不攻,地有所不争,君命有所不受). 

Imagine a General who is ordered to fight on 8 different fronts. Even with abundance of resouces and manpower (which almost nobody has the luxury of), one cannot imagine how such a war can be undertaken and not be stretched, let alone winning it. It is thus wise for the General to decide which is the best one to take on at which time…

Let those with eyes, let them see…


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