Feign Madness But Keep Your Balance

Strategy 27

Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.

Modern Example

I knew a "programmer" who was more interested in acting cute, dressing cute, and being cute than developing her coding skills. And the guys on her team did nothing but fawn all over her and do her work for her. No one would ever complain about her utter lack of deliverables or unwillingness to pursue additional training. Nor would they say a bad word about her either. Of course not, she was "too cute". But there was nothing cute about the ruthless, focused manner in which she would spread negative "information" about those who were perceived to be interfering with her in any way. And no one ever suspected someone as cute and sweet as her. That is, until the day they finally laid her off. Boy howdy, did her true colors show then! And I quote from a credible witness, "If she'd had a weapon at the time we told her we had to let her go, she would have mowed down the entire office".