Sun Tzu’s Five Qualities of a Successful Leader

leadership qualities -sarbojit life coach blogLeadership is one of the core aspects of the modern business strategies. No matter if you are an owner of a small business or  yourself a business magnet, you should possess some good leadership qualities in order to make your venture into success.

When it comes to understanding the qualities of leaders, you will find various contradictory resources and management theories, those will put you in a puzzle.

I suggest not to be puzzled with all those things instead I would recommend you to follow one ancient book –Art of War written by Sun Tzu, who was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher. The book has been inspiring business leaders across the globe till date. Sir Robert Fry wrote an article on leadership, management mentioning about the book – Art of War, which was featured on leading portal

Sir Robert Fry wrote an article on leadership, management mentioning about the book – Art of War, which was featured on leading portal  Forbes.  I came across another good article on productivity by Katherine Eion, who mentioned about the book on the portal Lifehack.

I believe that the principles mentioned by the author in the book are a timeless guide to modern business leadership.

Understanding theses principles not only give you a confidence but also it would clear all the doubts you have in your mind regarding the qualities of a great leader. You can follow these qualities of a leader as defined by Sun Tzu in order to manifest your goals.

Here are the five qualities of a leader as per the book:


I got a good example from the book related to this aspect. The author writes “I fully believe he was a good soldier, but I had him beheaded because he acted without orders.”

Most of the successful leaders of the modern business times are much disciplined in their duties as well  as in their lives. They manage things and lead the staff in a disciplined way and able to render their jobs quite easily. The discipline is also a core aspect of the management, be it personal development or personnel management, discipline will give you the positive results.

Discipline should not be restricted to yourself only, instead, it should cover all the people associated with you in the organization. You can clearly define the specific roles of each and every individual associated with you.


Managing an organization is an art and you should learn it from various resources. No matter whether it is a big or small organization; you need to put equal strength to manage and make it a success. Despite managing a small team, you need greater management skills to manage your team. I would suggest you to follow all the rules, principles and techniques as a big organization does. Your focus should be on quality than the quantity.

Sun Tzu wrote “Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization.”

Weaknesses and Strengths

Great leaders are aware of their weaknesses and strengths, and they know how to act and achieve success. If you want to be a great leader, follow the successful leader and their self-assessment models.

There must be some strengths and weakness in you; never reveal these to anyone including your confidential staff. It should remain with you as a top secret. You need to work on these to accomplish your task with full strength and controlling your weaknesses.

Sun Tzu wrote in the book “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”

Put all of your efforts in manifesting your goals by controlling your weakness and working on strengths.

Wise and Strategic

A leader must be wise and has good strategies for his/her action. In business as well, if we consider the role of a leader, he or she must be wise and having good strategies to lead the organization to new heights despite facing challenges. This demonstrates the critical thinking ability of a leader and it also defined the competence of the leader.

When you run an organization as a leader, you must have strong critical thinking ability to deal the situations. The book will guide you to be very strategic and respond quickly to the changes.

Sometimes, you need to take action prior to any incident.  For this, you need to be ready to adopt strategies keeping the interest of your organization in mind.

Trust and Humanity

A leader must have the qualities of trust and humanity. He or she must demonstrate and possess these two qualities while leading an organization. While having  various training sessions at corporate houses, I often see staff complaining about trust and humanity. They want their management to be more trustworthy and treat them in the humanitarian ground. Being a leader, you need to trust others and gain the confidence of the people working with you. You should be trustworthy in order to lead your team.

Humanity is another great quality that is essential to becoming a successful leader. According to the book, you need to treat your soldiers as your own children. In the modern management and business culture you need to show more empathy to towards your staff and try to understand their problems,  this will make you a true leader.

Initially, the process of adopting these principles may be hard, but you will be accustomed to these once you are habituated with these principles and qualities in practice.


One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *