Lure Your Enemy Onto the Roof, Then Take Away the Ladder

Strategy 28

With baits and deceptions lure your enemy into treacherous terrain. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. To save himself he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.

Modern Example

Sometimes, at an old company I worked for, I would work from home. We all did it in this department; we were well-equipped to do so, and it aided productivity enormously. Once my boss left the company, our new boss picked his favorites quickly, and I was not among the chosen. He told us that we were no longer able to work from home, and that we had to attend all meetings personally, instead of over the phone. This added more travel time to the day, reducing how much time I had available to do my work. It also increased the amount of conflict I would encounter, since heated discussion over a tele-conference was much more easily addressed than face-to-face confrontation in an in-person meeting. If things escalated they could easily become quite difficult to deal with, and I might make a slip. I saw what this boss was up to. So I made plans to transfer to another department as soon as possible, before his insane work hours and confrontational tactics caused me a loss of face I would not be able to recover from.