19. When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle, he is anxious for the other side to advance.

遠而挑戰者欲人之進也

Sun Tzu

when a military leader is trying to provoke an enemy into battle, they are actually hoping that the enemy will take the bait and attack first. By doing this, the military leader is able to control the terms of the battle and potentially gain an advantage over the enemy. This tactic is often used as a way to lure an enemy into a trap or to create an opportunity to attack the enemy at a time and place of the leader’s choosing.

When a business keeps its distance and tries to provoke a response from a competitor, it is hoping for the competitor to make the first move.

When a business leader keeps their distance from a competitor and tries to provoke a response, they are hoping that the competitor will take the bait and make the first move. This allows the business leader to control the situation and potentially gain an advantage. For example, the business leader might use strategic provocation to lure the competitor into making a move that reveals their plans or weaknesses, or to create an opportunity for the leader’s own company to gain a competitive advantage. By waiting for the competitor to advance first, the business leader is able to react and adapt to the situation, rather than being forced to play defense or to make the first move without knowing the competitor’s intentions.