19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.


Sun Tzu

A skilled military commander will use deception to manipulate the enemy’s actions. By creating false appearances and making strategic sacrifices, the commander can lure the enemy into making mistakes and reacting in a way that is advantageous to the commander’s own forces. Sun Tzu emphasizes the importance of keeping the enemy off-balance and confused, in order to gain the upper hand in battle.

A skilled business leader maintains misleading appearances to keep competitors off-balance and manipulate their actions. By making strategic sacrifices, the leader can lure competitors into making mistakes that benefit the leader's own company.

A good leader will use strategic deception and manipulation in order to gain an advantage over competitors. This might involve creating false appearances or making calculated sacrifices in order to lure competitors into making decisions that benefit your own business. For example, a business might deliberately leak false information about a new product in order to see how competitors will react, or might make a seemingly generous offer to a potential partner in order to gain access to valuable resources or information. The key idea is to use cunning and deception to outmaneuver competitors and gain an advantage in the marketplace.