42) Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will scatter
This suggests that problems often have their roots in a single strong individual and this rule defines that very person as a spark which is responsible for igniting ill-will towards you. If you allow such people to operate others are likely to succumb to their power too. Therefore, do not allow these people to operate and most importantly do not attempt to negotiate with these people.
Neutralize their presence by isolating or banishing them. As you strike at the trouble source and the sheeps will scatter for themselves.
43) Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
Never resort to coercion as it will eventually work against you. Therefore, instead of using coercion consider seducing others so they may want to move into your direction. However, the right way to seduce others is by working on their individual weaknesses and psychologies and they would become your loyal pawn. Working on their individual weaknesses and psychologies means identifying and then treating them accordingly.
Though you are likely to meet resistance but you can soften this resistance by playing on their fear, needs, wishes and wants. Therefore, do not make the mistake of ignoring the minds and hearts of other or they will grow to hate you.
44) Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
The mirror effect can be used as a powerful deception tool. Once you mirror what your enemy is doing you render them at a loss to figure out what you are doing. Moreover, it also humiliates and mocks your enemy almost forcing them to over react.
When you hold up a mirror to their psyches you are seducing them with the illusion that you share their values and when you hold a mirror to their actions you end up teaching them a lesson.
45) Preach the Need for Change but never reform too much at Once
Though everyone understands and accepts the need for change in the abstract the truth is that things are different at a tangible level. Since people are creatures of their habits too much innovation and too much change can prove to be traumatic and may even lead to resentment and revolt in people.
Therefore, if you are especially among the ones who are new to a position of power or an outsider who is attempting to build a powerbase you need to show respect to the old ways of doing things rather changing or innovating too much at a time. Once you deem that the change is but necessary you need to make it look like a gentle improvement on the past.
46) Never Appear Perfect
If you appear too perfect and too flawless you are bound to invite envy. Remember that envy can lead to silent opponents. Therefore, refrain from appearing perfect and when appropriate reveal your flaws and mild shortcomings so you may appear approachable, human and thus deflect envy.
47) Do not go past the Mark you aimed for: In Victory learn when to stop
This rule deals with how to deal with your ego once success and victory are knocking your door. Once you taste success it is more than likely to get to your head and thus inflate your ego. In the heat of the moment you are prone to the feelings of arrogance and overconfidence which can push you to go past the goal you had originally aimed for. When you chose to go beyond your goal you end up making more enemies than the ones you defeated.
Therefore, do not allow success to get to your head and derail you from your original goal. Since there is no substitute for precise planning so be careful once you have reached your predetermined goal.
48) Assume Formlessness
While you should plan and stick to it, it certainly does not mean that you have to take a certain shape. When you take a certain shape you make yourself predictable and vulnerable. Therefore, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. You have to accept and keep in mind the fact that no law is fixed and nothing is certain.
Therefore, the best way to protect yourself is to keep yourself as formless and as fluid as water. Since everything changes so never put too much stakes on stability.