Authored by the most brilliant strategist of all time in China, The Way of the General is a short treatise written by Zhuge Liang which deals practical knowledge on Leadership and Crisis Management.
Zhuge Liang (181–234) courtesy name Kongming, was a chancellor (or prime minister) and regent of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He is recognised as the most accomplished strategist of his era, and has been compared to Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War.
He was an important military strategist, statesman and accomplished scholar and inventor. His reputation as an intelligent and learned scholar grew even while he was living in relative seclusion, earning him the nickname “Wolong” or “Fulong” (both literally mean “Crouching Dragon”).
Today his His name, even his surname alone, had become synonymous with intelligence and strategy in Chinese culture.
His only surviving work, The Way of the General, had become a must-read book adjacent to Sun Tzu’s Art of War for entrepreneurs and business leaders in the East Asia.
The following are selected quotes from his short treatise:
“Nothing is harder to see into people’s natures. Though good and bad are different, their conditions and appearances are not always uniform.
There are some people who are nice enough but steal.
Some people are outwardly respectful while inwardly making fools of everyone.
Some people are brave on the outside yet cowardly on the inside.
Some people do their best but are not loyal.”
“Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win.”
“To overcome the intelligent by folly is contrary to the natural order of things; to overcome the foolish by intelligence is in accord with the natural order. To overcome the intelligent by intelligence, however, is a matter of opportunity.”
“Nothing is harder to see into than people’s nature. The sage looks at subtle phenomena and listens to small voices. This harmonizes the outside with the inside and the inside with the outside.”
“An enlightened ruler does not worry about people not knowing him; he worries about not knowing people.”