13. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country – its mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps.


Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is discussing the importance of knowing and understanding the terrain in which an army is marching. Sun Tzu argues that a leader who is not familiar with the terrain will not be able to effectively lead an army on the march. Instead, the leader must be familiar with the various features of the land, such as mountains and forests, as well as any potential hazards, such as swamps and marshes, in order to effectively navigate and lead the army. In other words, the quote emphasizes the importance of being well-prepared and having a thorough knowledge of the environment in which one is operating.

We are not fit to lead a company unless we are familiar with the market – its opportunities and challenges, its trends and competitors, its strengths and weaknesses.

In order to be an effective leader of a company, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the market in which the company operates. This means being familiar with the various opportunities and challenges that the market presents, as well as the trends and competitors that shape it. It also means understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the company in relation to the market.

Having this knowledge is important because it allows the leader to make informed decisions about how to navigate the market and position the company for success. Without a deep understanding of the market, a leader may make uninformed or misguided decisions that could harm the company’s performance. For example, if a leader is not aware of a key trend in the market, they may miss out on an opportunity to capitalize on it, or they may make decisions that are not well-suited to the market’s current conditions.

In short, the quote emphasizes the importance of being knowledgeable and well-prepared in order to effectively lead a company in a dynamic and complex market. By having a deep understanding of the market and its various features, a leader can make informed decisions that support the success of the company.