Trouble The Water To Catch The Fish

Strategy 20

Before engaging your enemy's forces create confusion to weaken his perception and judgment. Do something unusual, strange, and unexpected as this will arouse the enemy's suspicion and disrupt his thinking. A distracted enemy is thus more vulnerable.

Modern Example

I once worked closely with a colleague who was not in my department. Although I outranked him, he acquired delusions of grandeur and thought he could take it upon himself to manage my workload. I swiftly put a stop to things by cutting him out of the loop. I "forgot" to carbon copy him on emails, didn't invite him to important meetings, and ensured that vital information never got to his hands. I'm sure he never expected that I would be anything other than helpful and compliant at all times. I went to my then-supervisor and told him about this colleague's attempts to micro-manage my workload. He was suitably and righteously indignant. Then came the master stroke. I knew my colleague would run crying to his supervisor about how he couldn't deal with me. That's when I knew I had him. His supervisor's pet peeve was whiny, complaining guys. She'd fired a guy the month before, laughing as she called him "wimpy" in front of her boss. He'd never be able to live down an image like that in her eyes. Within a couple of weeks, I noticed that when she sent things out, she no longer routed things through him, but a peer of his. In fact, she often left him off the distribution list altogether. Where he used to work considerable amounts of overtime, now his attendance at work grew sporadic. It was only a matter of time before he gave notice and left.