19. When a general, unable to estimate the enemy’s strength, allows an inferior force to engage a larger one, or hurls a weak detachment against a powerful one, and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank, the result must be a rout.

將不能料敵以少合衆以弱擊强兵無選鋒曰北

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is emphasizing the importance of accurately assessing the strength of the enemy and deploying one’s forces accordingly. He is warning against making the mistake of allowing an inferior force to engage a larger one, or of sending a weak detachment against a powerful enemy, and of not placing one’s best soldiers in the front rank. He is saying that if these mistakes are made, the result will be a rout, or a disastrous defeat. Sun Tzu’s advice is to carefully evaluate the enemy’s strength and to make sure that one’s own forces are properly deployed in order to maximize their chances of success in battle.

When a leader, unable to accurately assess the competition's strength, allows a weaker team to compete with a stronger one, or a strong one against a weaker one, and fails to allocate the best talent key roles, the result must be a meltdown.

A leader who is unable to accurately assess the competition and who makes poor decisions about how to allocate their team and resources is at risk of causing a meltdown. This could happen, for example, if the leader allows a weaker team or product to compete with a stronger one, or if they launch a poorly-planned initiative against a well-established rival. In both of these situations, the leader is making decisions that are likely to lead to failure, and the result could be a catastrophic meltdown.