Killing One’s Enemy With His Own Sword

I like to tell the Chinese parable of “Killing One’s Enemy With His Own Sword”

(or something like that…..I’m so handicapped by not knowing Mandarin!):

In ancient China, there were two powerful kingdoms equally matched. Each desired to
conquer the other. One of the Kings sent a spy into the other kingdom to gather
intelligence. The spy reported that the other King has 5 key men (Generals and
Ministers). Destroy the 5 key men and the kingdom is yours, advised the spy. So this King
set out to destroy the credibility of the 5 men by planting fake messages and information
for the other King to “accidentally” get his hands on. The second King thought that his 5
men were out to betray him and  summarily executed them. Needless to say, when the
decisive battle was fought, the second kingdom fell. So the first King succeeded in
destroying the second King using the latter’s own sword!

That’s the danger of paying attention to rumour-mongering and anonymous poison letters.
Powerful parable for Management and for life!

Update: 25-Oct-2012

“Whistle-blowing” is different in that a whistle blower is prepared to be identified and to testify after blowing the lid off a wrong-doing.

Whistle-blowing is good; rumour-mongering and anonymous poison letters are not!



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