The CEO who is guided by the Way
does not engage in hostile takeovers;
such business tends to turn on you.
Where proxy battles are fought,
shareholders will grow bitterness and regret.
Where profits were projected,
lean years will follow.

The able executive runs a successful company;
victory over the competition is not the point.
He succeeds and does not let it go to his head.
He succeeds without arrogance or contempt.
He succeeds without boasting of victory to come.
He succeeds, and engages in active conflict only as a last resort.
He succeeds by taking action without force,
and gains long-term profits for his shareholders.

When a company is run by a pack of frat boys,
it has left the Way.
Such a company is old before its time,
and will fail sooner rather than later.


chapter notes:

As usual, I have repurposed political philosophy as management philosophy, finding counterparts in corporate conflict at every turn.

I have moved the last verse from the general to the specific, choosing a familiar failure mode for technical companies.