13. Seven considerations; (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law? (2) Which of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is the stronger? (6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

曰主孰有道將孰有能天地孰得法令孰行兵衆孰强士卒孰練賞罰孰明

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu advises leaders to carefully consider several factors before making a decision to go to war, including the moral character of the two sovereigns, the abilities of the two generals, the advantages and disadvantages of the armies’ positions, the level of discipline within the armies, the strength of the armies, the training of the soldiers, and the consistency of rewards and punishment within the armies.





The original verse from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War could be applied to doing business and leadership by considering the seven factors mentioned in the verse. These factors could help leaders make more informed decisions and increase their chances of success in the business world.

The first factor to consider is the ethical foundation of the two companies. This refers to the moral character of the companies and their commitment to acting in a responsible and ethical manner. A company with a strong ethical foundation is likely to have a good reputation and be trusted by customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

The second factor to consider is the ability of the two leaders. This refers to the skills, knowledge, and experience of the leaders in guiding their companies and making strategic decisions. A leader with more ability is likely to be better equipped to handle challenges and make successful decisions.

The third factor to consider is the advantages and disadvantages derived from the market and resources. This refers to the opportunities and challenges presented by the market and the availability of resources such as capital, technology, and talent. A company with more favorable market conditions and access to resources is likely to have an advantage over its competitors.

The fourth factor to consider is the level of discipline within the companies. This refers to the degree to which rules and expectations are enforced and followed within the companies. A company with a high level of discipline is likely to have a more effective and efficient workforce.

The fifth factor to consider is the financial strength of the companies. This refers to the ability of the companies to generate revenue, manage expenses, and maintain a healthy financial position. A financially strong company is likely to be better able to withstand market challenges and invest in growth opportunities.

The sixth factor to consider is the training of the employees. This refers to the level of education, skills, and experience of the employees within the companies. Employees who are more highly trained are likely to be better equipped to handle the challenges of their roles and contribute to the success of the company.

The seventh factor to consider is the consistency of rewards and punishment for employees. This refers to the fairness and consistency with which employees are rewarded for their achievements and punished for their mistakes. A company with a consistent and fair approach to rewards and punishment is likely to have a more motivated and engaged workforce.