17. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment, before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or no he is in a position to fight, the result is ruin.

大吏怒而不服遇敵懟而自戰將不知其能曰崩

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is saying that when higher-ranking officers are angry and insubordinate, and they engage the enemy on their own terms without waiting for orders from the commander-in-chief, it can lead to ruin for the entire army. This is because the officers are acting out of personal resentment instead of following a well-planned strategy, and this can lead to chaos and confusion on the battlefield. Sun Tzu is emphasizing the importance of following the orders of the commander-in-chief and acting as a cohesive unit in order to be successful in battle.

When mid-level leaders are angry and insubordinate, and make decisions without consulting upper leadership, it can result in ruin for the business.

When mid-level leaders are angry and insubordinate, they may make decisions without consulting upper leadership or without considering the broader implications for the company. This can lead to confusion and disorder among the employees, and can ultimately result in failure or ruin for the business.

Mid-level leaders play an important role in the decision-making process of a company. They often have a good understanding of the day-to-day operations and the needs of their team, and they can provide valuable input and insights into the decision-making process. However, they should not make decisions on their own without consulting upper leadership, as this can create chaos and confusion within the organization.

On the other hand, upper leadership is responsible for setting the overall direction and strategy for the company. They have a broader view of the organization and its goals, and they can provide important guidance and direction to mid-level leaders. When upper leadership is involved in the decision-making process, they can help to ensure that decisions are made with the company’s best interests in mind, and that they are in line with the company’s overall strategy.

In summary, Sun Tzu’s quote is emphasizing the importance of discipline, obedience, and collaboration within an organization. When mid-level leaders act on their own without consulting upper leadership, it can lead to confusion and disorder, and ultimately result in failure or ruin for the company. By working together and following a well-planned strategy, leaders at all levels can help to ensure the success and prosperity of the organization.