Sun Tzu is stating the importance of quickly establishing control and authority when taking command of a military campaign. He is advising the general to take a number of actions upon taking command of an army. Specifically, he advises blocking the frontier passes, destroying the official tallies, and stopping the passage of all emissaries.
Blocking the frontier passes likely refers to the practice of blocking or defending key mountain passes or other strategic locations that could be used by an enemy to enter or attack the territory being defended. This would serve to protect the territory and make it more difficult for the enemy to gain a foothold.
Destroying the official tallies may refer to the practice of destroying records or documents that could be used by the enemy to gain information about the strength and resources of the defending army. This could include things like payroll records or inventory lists.
Stopping the passage of all emissaries may refer to the practice of intercepting and preventing enemy envoys or spies from entering or leaving the territory being defended. This would help to prevent the enemy from gathering intelligence or communicating with allies within the territory.
Overall, these actions would serve to protect the defending army’s resources and prevent the enemy from gaining an advantage.
On the day that you take on a new leadership role, protect your resources, eliminate potential vulnerabilities, and cut off any sources of information or support that could be used against you.
Quickly establishing control and protecting one’s resources when facing a new leadership role is of great importance for several reasons.
First, taking control of a new leadership role can be a challenging and stressful experience, and it is important to establish your authority as soon as possible in order to set the tone for your leadership and ensure that your team is able to work effectively and efficiently. This can involve taking control of key resources, such as budget and personnel, and ensuring that your team has the tools and support they need to succeed.
Second, it is critical that you identify and eliminate potential vulnerabilities in order to protect your team and your organization from potential threats. This may involve conducting a risk assessment to identify areas where your team or organization may be vulnerable, and taking steps to mitigate those risks. This could include things like implementing security measures, strengthening your team’s skills and knowledge, and building relationships with key stakeholders.
Finally, it is important to cut off any sources of information or support that could be used against you in order to achieve success. This may involve cutting off communication with individuals or groups who are hostile or uncooperative, or limiting access to sensitive information to trusted team members. By taking control of key resources and eliminating potential vulnerabilities, you can position yourself and your team for success in your new leadership role.