Sunday, June 1, 2014

Story of Liu Bei and Tsuge Liang

In the first century, three kingdoms were fighting to unify China. The first kingdom, the Wei, was the largest and strongest; the second was the Wu; and the third was the Shu Han. Liu Bei was the first king of the Shu Han, fighting against Cao Cao, the king of the Wei. Liu Bei mostly allied with Sun Quan, the king of the Wu (who was against the large, strong Wei). The Wei controlled a large area in the northern region of China. The Wu were situated in the southwest. Liu Bei was the last to form his own kingdom.

Liu Bei had a problem. Although he had brave and loyal generals, who were his sworn brothers, he did not have a strategist or a statesman to help him command his army and run his country. Liu Bei heard about a young, but capable, man named Tsuge Liang, who was not only a military strategist, but also a visionary theorist on politics. Tsuge Liang had been asked to work for the Wei and the Wu as one of their top strategists. He had not accepted their invitation since he did not agree with their policies.

Bei desperately hoped for Tsuge Liang to join his team. He knew that it would be difficult to persuade Liang accept his offer because Liang would not be moved by political rhetoric; he was not interested in making money. Bei decided to visit Liang alone in person. Liang lived a thousand miles away in the mountains. The winter season saw snow fall that year. Bei traveled to Liang's, only to find he was not home.

He said he would be back and returned to his hotel. On the second day he returned to Liang's house, knowing that he would be out. His intention was to tacitly tell the family how badly Bei wanted Liang. On the third day, Bei met Liang for the first time. Liang agreed to work for Bei.

Tsuge Liang brought Liu Bei victory in several critical battles against Wei. Liang enabled Liu to build his own kingdom and become the first king. He made the country both wealthy and peaceful. When Liu was on his deathbed, he told Liang that he wanted Liang to support his son, but only if Liang believed that his son was capable of becoming the second king. Bei told him that if Liang found his son was not good enough to become the second king, Liang should get rid of his son and become the second king himself. Liang swore that he would dedicate his life to supporting Bei's son. Shu Han continued to be wealthy and prosperous, fighting effectively against two rival countries until the time of Liang's death. The story of Liu Bei and Tsuge Liang gives us profound advice about the importance of selecting, recruiting, and working with a partner.

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