Zixia said: “A petty person always tries to gloss over his mistakes.”

Zixia said: “A leader has three different aspects: from a distance, he looks stern; close up, he looks warm; when you hear his voice, he sounds serious.

Zixia said: “A leader only mobilizes the people for labor after earning their trust. If he hasn’t earned his trust, the people will feel they are being exploited. He only offers criticism to his lord after earning his trust. If he hasn’t earned his trust, the lord will feel he is being slandered.”

Zixia is certainly on a roll, though he is merely recycling points already made by Confucius rather than adding any fresh new insights to them or developing them any further.

Perhaps that’s a good thing. Judging by the banality of his description of how a leader should appear in front of other people, he wasn’t the most imaginative of thinkers.

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