Steal The Firewood From Under the Pot

Strategy 19

When faced with an enemy too powerful to engage directly you must first weaken him by undermining his foundation and attacking his source of power.

Modern Example

There was this manager I knew who derived her power from her boss's boss. Maybe she'd been sleeping with him; I don't know, but we all suspected it. She ran amok because not even her boss could control her. Her boss eventually got fired, but that wasn't enough of a deterrent, since her power base was still intact. Then her boss's boss got a lateral transfer to another department, and they brought in a new guy. In fact, they consolidated several departments under this guy - a no-nonsense ex-Marine who brooked no interference from any quarter. She started to have to seek approval for everything she did instead of telling everyone what to do. She left within a couple of months, and her replacement turned out to be one of the new guy's trusted henchmen. But he was actually pretty nice, and reasonable to work with. Sometimes, it pays to wait out the situation, because management turns over rapidly on occasion.