16. When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.

卒强吏弱曰弛吏强卒弱曰陷

Sun Tzu

In order for an army to be successful, there must be a balance of power between the common soldiers and their officers. If the common soldiers are too strong and their officers are too weak, they may not obey orders and discipline may break down. On the other hand, if the officers are too strong and the common soldiers are too weak, the army may not have the strength and cohesion to be effective in battle, leading to defeat.

When employees have too much power and their leadership is too weak, the result is insubordination. When leadership is too strong and the employees are too weak, the result is a collapse of the organization.

If the employees have too much power and the managers are too weak, there may be problems with insubordination and following company policies. On the other hand, if the leadership is too powerful and the employees are too weak, the business may not have the support and cooperation of its workers, which can lead to inefficiency and potentially even the collapse of the business.

A good leader should strike a balance between being an effective manager and being a supportive mentor to their employees. On the one hand, a leader needs to have a certain amount of power in order to make decisions and guide the direction of the company. This power allows them to set goals, make plans, and hold employees accountable for their work.

At the same time, a leader should not have too much power over their employees. If a leader wields their power in an overly aggressive or dictatorial manner, it can create a toxic work environment that causes employees to become disengaged and potentially even leave the company. It’s important for a leader to use their power wisely and to listen to the perspectives and ideas of their employees.

Overall, the key is to find a balance between being a strong and decisive leader while also being supportive and collaborative. By doing this, a leader can create a positive and productive work environment where employees are motivated and engaged.