A skilled leader is able to defeat their enemies without resorting to violence or prolonged military campaigns. Instead, they are able to outmaneuver their opponents and achieve victory through cunning and strategy. This could involve using psychological tactics to demoralize the enemy, exploiting their weaknesses, or finding ways to divide and conquer them. Essentially, Sun Tzu is advocating for the use of cunning and intelligence in warfare, rather than brute force alone.
Therefore, the skillful leader conquers their competitors without resorting to aggressive tactics; they capture market share without engaging in costly campaigns; they overthrow their competition's dominance without lengthy operations.
The skillful leader uses strategic thinking and planning to achieve success, rather than relying solely on brute force or sheer competition. This could involve carefully analyzing the market, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, and developing a plan to outmaneuver them in order to gain an advantage. For example, a business might use marketing techniques to undermine their competitors’ image, or they might develop new products or services that are better suited to the needs of their customers. Ultimately, Sun Tzu’s advice could be seen as advocating for the use of intelligence and strategy in business, rather than simply relying on raw power or aggression.