18. No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.


Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is warning against the dangers of allowing personal emotions to guide military decisions. A ruler or general who is driven by anger or resentment may be tempted to send troops into battle without careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Such actions can be reckless and ultimately detrimental to the well-being of the soldiers and the success of the military campaign.

No leader should make business decisions simply to satisfy their own ego; no executive should make a decision based on personal animosity.

In the business world, it is important for leaders and executives to make decisions that are grounded in reason and strategy, rather than being driven by personal emotions. Allowing personal feelings such as ego or animosity to influence business decisions can lead to rash and ultimately harmful actions.

For example, a leader who is driven by ego may make decisions that prioritize their own status or reputation over the well-being of the company and its employees. This can result in short-sighted or self-serving actions that may not be in the best interests of the company in the long term. On the other hand, an executive who makes decisions based on personal animosity towards another individual or company may act impulsively, potentially damaging relationships and hindering the success of the business.

In contrast, leaders and executives who make decisions with a clear and rational mind are more likely to consider the long-term consequences and the well-being of the company and its employees. By taking a strategic approach to decision-making, they can ensure that the company is well-positioned for success in the future. In short, it is essential for business leaders to avoid letting personal emotions cloud their judgment and to focus on making decisions that are in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders.