Tag Archives: Duke Ling of Wei

Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Duke Chu of Wei

Duke Chu of Wei (衛出公) only became the ruler of the state because his father, the former crown prince Ji Kuaikui (姬蒯瞶), had been forced to flee the state after failing in an attempt to kill Nanzi (南子), the notorious consort of his father, Duke Ling (衛靈公), in 499 BCE. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Duke Chu of Wei

Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Nanzi

Nanzi (南子) was the consort or wife of Duke Ling of Wei (衛靈公) and took part in the most scandalous incident of Confucius’s life. She gained an unsavory reputation for political scheming and loose morals and was widely believed to have been the real power behind the throne during the tumultuous later years of the duke’s reign (543 – 493 BCE).

Nanzi was at the height of her powers when Confucius arrived in Wei after leaving his home state of Lu for exile in 496 BCE. She was anxious to meet the famous sage but had to send multiple invitations before he finally agreed to attend an audience with her. Continue reading Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Nanzi

Leadership lessons from Confucius: an unfair advantage

unfair advantage

子曰:「不有祝鮀之佞,而有宋朝之美,難乎免於今之世矣。」
Confucius said: “It’s difficult to survive in an age like ours without the smooth tongue of Zhu Tuo and the good looks of Song Chao.” (1) (2)

There are always going to be other people around who seem to enjoy an unfair advantage over others – whether it be an amazing talent, stunning looks, or a silken tongue. Rather than bemoaning your bad luck in the genetic lottery, why not spend your time and energy figuring out how you, too, can build your own unfair advantage that will enable you to get ahead in life? Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: an unfair advantage

Leadership lessons from Confucius: better pray to the kitchen god?

kitchen god

王孫賈問曰:「與其媚於奧,寧媚於灶,何謂也?」子曰:「不然,獲罪於天,吾所禱也。
Wangsun Jia asked: “What does this saying mean: ‘Better pray to the kitchen god rather than the household gods’?” Confucius said: “This is nonsense. If you sin against heaven, you have no god you can pray to.”

Be polite and friendly with everyone you come into contact with – not just people you think will be able to help you climb the career ladder. Flattering the boss, or indeed the kitchen god, might earn you a few brownie points, but your long-term success depends on your ability to work effectively with everybody. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: better pray to the kitchen god?