26. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.

厚而不能使愛而不能令亂而不能治譬如驕子不可用也

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is emphasizing the importance of being able to effectively lead and control one’s soldiers in order to be successful in warfare. Sun Tzu is saying that if a leader is too lenient and unable to enforce their commands, their soldiers will be ineffective and unable to accomplish their tasks. In other words, being a good leader means being able to strike the right balance between being kind and firm, and being able to maintain order and discipline among one’s soldiers.

If you are lenient, and unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, and unable to enforce your decisions; and incapable of quelling disorder: then your team will be ineffective and unable to accomplish their tasks.

Being lenient and unable to enforce your authority can be detrimental to a business or team because it means that there is a lack of discipline and structure. Without clear rules and expectations, employees may become confused or uncertain about their roles and responsibilities. This can lead to a lack of motivation, productivity, and teamwork. In addition, if a leader is unable to make their authority felt, it can create a power imbalance within the team. Employees may not respect or trust the leader, and may not follow their instructions or decisions. This can lead to conflicts and disruptions within the team, and can make it difficult to accomplish tasks or achieve goals.