36. Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is at the end of his resources; too many punishments betray a condition of dire distress.

屢賞者窘也數罰者困也

Sun Tzu

When an enemy is constantly rewarding its troops, it likely means that the enemy is running out of resources and is unable to sustain a long-term conflict. On the other hand, if an enemy is constantly punishing its troops, it likely means that the enemy is in a state of desperation and is struggling to maintain control. Essentially, Sun Tzu is saying that it is important to pay attention to the actions of your enemy, as they can reveal important information about their current state and the strength of their forces.

Too frequent bonuses indicate that the competition is weak and running out of resources; high stress and angry outbursts indicate that the business is in dire distress.

When a business is successful in the marketplace, it has the money to offer frequent bonuses to its employees. This is due to the business’s strength strong balance sheet. It is also a sign that their competitors are weak in their market, allowing them to have good margins. By offering frequent bonuses this allows the business to retain its top talent and maintain its competitive advantage, further undermining the competition and solidify its leadership in the market.

On the other hand, if a business is experiencing high levels of stress and outbursts among its employees, it may be a sign that the business is in distress. This could indicate internal conflicts, financial difficulties, or other challenges that the business is facing.