Seize the Opportunity To Lead a Sheep Away

Strategy 12

While carrying out your plans be flexible enough to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, however small, and avail yourself of any profit, however slight.

Modern Example

At a prior assignment, we worked with a group that had six programmers. There was a highly talented manager, who was so well-regarded that he was never going to be replaced. Then there were the team members - number one of which had delusions of grandeur, number two was best friends with the manager despite his phalanx of personal problems, and numbers three through five who worked hard and did their jobs. Number two got a promotion, and in order to do so, they brought in a contractor to cover his workload. They were in the middle of a conversion, and number two's duties were going to go away as a result, and eventually he would assume the tasks of this new project. So the contract programmer was brought in, sent to training in another state for two weeks, and gotten up to speed. He had been there an entire month when he was let go because he "couldn't hack it". Why? Because number one got jealous of number two's promotion, saw that his job was going to change for the worse once the conversion was finished, since he hadn't bothered to stay up to date on his skills, and complained about the contractor behind his back every chance he got, while being all buddy-buddy with him to his face. He successfully delayed the conversion, and derailed number two's promotion, because he was able to "prove" that no one could "just step in" and do number two's workload. Number two never suspected a thing - number one was able to warble endlessly about how "valuable" number two was.