14. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain, the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a subject of meditation.

覆軍殺將必以五危不可不察也

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is saying that when an army is defeated and its leader is killed, there are typically five common reasons why this happened. These reasons should be carefully considered and contemplated in order to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. In other words, Sun Tzu is suggesting that one way to improve one’s military tactics is to reflect on and learn from the mistakes of others.

When a company fails, the reasons can often be traced back to these five common mistakes. Careful reflection can help avoid repeating them.

When a company fails, the reasons for this failure can often be traced back to these five common mistakes: impulsiveness, timidity, neglect, extravagance, and incompetence (from previous quote). By carefully reflecting on these issues and learning from them, a company can avoid making the same errors in the future and increase its chances of success. Impulsiveness can lead to poor decision-making and rash actions, timidity can prevent a company from taking necessary risks or seizing opportunities, neglect can result in a failure to properly manage or maintain important systems and processes, extravagance can lead to wasteful spending and financial mismanagement, and incompetence can result in poor performance and a lack of expertise in key areas. By avoiding these common mistakes, a company can improve its chances of success and avoid repeating the mistakes of others.