29. A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.

故善用兵者避其銳氣擊其惰歸此治氣者也

Sun Tzu

A skilled general will avoid engaging an enemy army when it is highly motivated and eager to fight, but will instead attack when the enemy is lackadaisical and disinclined to continue fighting. Sun Tzu is saying that a key part of military strategy is to carefully observe the mood and motivation of the enemy, and to use that information to plan one’s own tactics.

A skilled leader avoids engaging a highly motivated competitor, and instead waits for a moment when the competitor is sluggish and low on morale. This is the art of studying competitor moods and using that knowledge to plan strategic moves.

A skilled leader understands that it is often unwise to directly confront a highly motivated competitor, as they will be prepared and eager to defend their position. Instead, the leader will wait for a moment when the competitor is less focused or motivated, and take advantage of this weakness to plan a strategic move. This could involve launching a new product or service, entering a new market, or making a bold decision that disrupts the competitor’s plans.

The art of studying competitor moods involves closely observing the behavior and actions of the competitor, and using this information to gauge their level of motivation and enthusiasm. This can help the leader anticipate the competitor’s next move and plan their own response. By carefully studying the competitor’s moods and using that knowledge to guide their actions, the leader can gain a competitive advantage and help their own business succeed.