“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and unless submissive, they will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless. Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory. If in training soldiers, commands are habitually enforced, the army will be well disciplined. If the general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual.”
Sun Tzu (400 BCE to 301 BCE)
Sunzi, Wade-Giles romanisation Sun-tzu, also spelled Sun Tzu, personal name Sun Wu, (flourished 5th century BC), reputed author of the Chinese classic Bingfa (The Art of War), the earliest known treatise on war and military science.
Sunzi, a military strategist and general who served the state of Wu near the end of the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC), is traditionally considered the author of The Art of War, but the work is more likely to have been written early in the Warring States period (475–221 BC), at a time when China was divided into six or seven states that often resorted to war with each other in their struggles for supremacy.