39. He burns his boats and breaks his cooking-pots; like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep, he drives his men this way and that, and none knows whither he is going.

焚舟破釜若驅羣羊而往驅而來莫知所之

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu describes a military leader who is determined to win and will not allow for any retreat or retreat options. By burning his boats and breaking his cooking pots, the leader is demonstrating that there is no turning back and that his soldiers must follow him to victory or defeat. The metaphor of the shepherd driving a flock of sheep suggests that the leader is in control and directing the movements of his soldiers, but they do not know his ultimate goal or destination.

The leader fully commits to a plan with no turning back; like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep, they lead their team forward with determination, and none knows where they are heading.

The leader commits to a plan with no turning back; like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep, they lead their team forward with determination, and none knows where they are heading. This approach demonstrates the leader’s confidence in their direction and their willingness to take bold actions to achieve their goals. It also shows that they are not afraid to take risks and are willing to accept the consequences of their actions.

However, this approach can also be risky and potentially unsettling for the team. Without any retreat options or contingency plans, the team may feel pressure to succeed or fear the consequences of failure. It is important for the leader to communicate clearly and provide support to their team in order to maintain morale and motivation.

Ultimately, this approach requires trust from both the leader and the team. The leader must trust that their plan will lead to success, while the team must trust that the leader has their best interests in mind and is guiding them towards a positive outcome. By working together and staying focused on the goal, the team may be able to overcome any challenges and achieve success.