Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao
When the enemy is too strong to attack directly, then attack something he holds dear. Know that in all things he cannot be superior. Somewhere there is a gap in the armor, a weakness that can be attacked instead.
There was a project manager at a company I used to work for. She'd been there a while and was a fairly snappy dresser. Because of her looks and demeanor, she had a reputation as a good project manager, even though deadlines were foreign to her, she frequently forgot meetings, and she was the most disorganized person I had ever met. Her cubicle was filled with little appreciation trinkets, piles of paper and scattered folders, and plaques with cutesy sayings on them. She could barely use a computer. Yet, at this company, reputation was very much based on appearance and gossip. When my meticulous work habits threatened to show her up a couple of times, she got bitchy with me. She didn't work for the same boss I did, but she could have gone crying to them in a heartbeat. Therefore, I started to lay the groundwork for my own defense. In status reports, I documented her lack of involvement by noting the contributions of all the respective project managers with whom I worked (appearance of impartiality). When she forgot meetings, I sent out memos that reviewed the highlights of the meeting and listed who was present and who was absent. When my then boss made a remark to me about whether this person had gotten a piece of information to me in a timely manner or not, I said, "Well, you know how she is sometimes". When I went out to lunch with her peers, I said things that implied that she was doing a bad job, and then left them to spread the word on their own. I never said anything that could be directly attributed back to me. Later, when she decided to bad-mouth me publicly, she found that somehow, she had developed a reputation for being unreliable, and it was too late to prevent me taking a promotion into a completely different department (I was glad to get the heck out of there, and not a moment too soon!).