29. The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the Ch‘ang mountains. Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle,and you will be attacked by head and tail both.

故善用兵譬如率然率然者常山之虵也擊其首則尾至擊其尾則首至擊其中則首尾俱至

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu refers to the concept of a “shuai-jan,” which is a type of snake found in the Chang mountains. According to Sun Tzu, a skilled tactician can be compared to this snake because they are difficult to attack or defeat. If you try to attack their head, they will counterattack with their tail. If you try to attack their tail, they will counterattack with their head. And if you try to attack the middle of their body, they will counterattack with both the head and the tail. Essentially, the quote is saying that a skilled tactician is able to adapt and counter any attack, making them difficult to defeat.

A skilled business leader may be likened to the shuai-jan snake. Just like this snake, a skilled leader is difficult to defeat. If you try to attack their business at its core, they will counter with a different strategy. If you try to exploit a weakness in their business model, they will adapt and find a way to counter your move. And if you try to attack their business from multiple angles, they will be able to respond effectively with multiple strategies.

A skilled business leader may be likened to the shuai-jan snake, a formidable creature that is difficult to defeat. Just like this snake, a skilled leader is able to adapt and counter any attack on their business.

For example, if an adversary tries to attack a business at its core, a skilled leader will be able to respond with a different strategy that neutralizes the threat. This could involve changing their business model, finding new sources of revenue, or implementing cost-saving measures.

Similarly, if an adversary tries to exploit a weakness in a business’s model, a skilled leader will be able to adapt and find a way to counter the move. This could involve strengthening the business’s defenses, finding new ways to serve customers, or partnering with other companies to create a more resilient business.

Finally, if an adversary tries to attack a business from multiple angles, a skilled leader will be able to respond effectively with multiple strategies. This could involve leveraging the company’s resources and expertise, forming alliances with other businesses, or finding new ways to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

Overall, a skilled business leader is able to navigate any challenge and emerge stronger as a result. They are resilient, adaptable, and able to respond effectively to any threat, making them a formidable opponent.