Part Three - Leadership

How to Become the Chief Executive

How to Become the  Chief Executive

Leadership is the "Third Part" article of "how to become Chief Executive" using Sun Tzu strategic system. In the last two parts, we discussed the initial two steps required, The Strategy and The Mission.

This part article deals with the second element of analysing your strategic position – The Leadership element of your strategic position.

Sun Tzu sees Leadership as a vital element of any strategic position and for triumph over opponents in any challenge in life. In a straightforward manner, he defines the five qualities a leader must have in order to reach any major position, whether it is an army general job or a chief Executive of a major company.

Sun Tzu the Art of War also defines the five weaknesses in Leadership that leads to defeat.

First, we deal with the qualities and skills you require in order to be successful in positively challenging any opponent for such a position. By having those qualities you will also ensure that, you will succeed once you attained such a position of leadership. Here are Sun Tzu five qualities of leaders:


Caring for people around you. Great leaders do care for people and share in their joy and pain. In the old days, they even used to fight with them in the field and die with them as the situation may demand.

If you think you are above your people or that you should remain detached and distant as a sign of gaining respect from the people, you certainly have it wrong and soon will be defeated. People are emotional and will only genuinely respond to leaders who share their feelings.


Intelligence according to Sun Tzu is about the ability to see opportunities in the midst of the confusion of everyday activities.

Pin pointing opportunities for advance are a mark of a strategist who is ready to lead his company, army or even nation.


Seeing opportunities is of no use if the leader does not have the courage to follow them.

Courage is an essential leadership quality. It includes the ability to advance without seeking fame and to retreat without avoiding blame for care for of the people.


Again, of concern and care for the people. Sincerity and trustworthiness are essential if you wish your people to follow you in any direction you take. Before and after you become the leader.

There are numerous examples of leaders who lost the confidence of their people and that alone ended their political careers forever.

In the case of a chief executive, you should never lose the trust of your people, market, customers, suppliers and most importantly shareholders.


A Vital quality of any leader is the ability to command and apply principles while following them yourself.

Discipline is also the strength to apply rewards and punishments fairly. Excesses according to Sun Tzu are detrimental to leaders and organizations.

Let us close this article by hearing what Sun Tzu has to say about weaknesses of leaders that causes major defeat for companies and nations:

    "Leaders may have Five Weaknesses;

    The overly reckless can be destroyed.

    The overly cautious can be captured.

    The deeply attached can be harassed.

    The quickly angered can be ridiculed.

    The very fastidious can be humiliated.

    Generally, the five weaknesses are a mistake in a leader; they are catastrophic in the execution of a strategy.”

Having understood these qualities, assess and score yourself against your competitors for the post of chief executive. If your score exceed that of your opponents, you are doing well. Nevertheless, if not, start immediately to work on improving your skills in this important area and practice diligently to "exceed" your opponent in leadership.

Continue the journey by getting to part four – the Ground

How to become the Chief Executive!

How to Become the Chief Executive - Part One - The Strategy

How to Become the Chief Executive - Part two - The Mission

How to Become the Chief Executive - Part Three - The Leadership

How to Become the Chief Executive - Part Four - The Ground

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