Confucius said of Zijian: “He is a true leader! If there were indeed no leaders in the state of Lu, how would he have reached this level?”
Zijian (子賤) rose to become the chief magistrate of a district called Danfu (單父) in the state of Lu and was famous for preferring to spend his time playing music rather than working.
Despite his numerous criticisms of the flagrant violations of traditional Zhou culture being carried out in his home state, Confucius is suggesting that it still provides an excellent breeding ground for young leaders.
Perhaps the overall picture wasn’t quite as bad as he tried to paint it.