Tag Archives: Zang Wuzhong

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: when your back’s against the wall

when your back's against the wall

Confucius said: “Zang Wuzhong demanded that the city of Fang be acknowledged by the Duke of Lu as his hereditary fief. Although it’s said he didn’t coerce his ruler, I don’t believe it.”
子曰:「臧武仲以防,求為後於魯,雖曰不要君,吾不信也。」

When your back’s against the wall, you sometimes have no choice but to play hard ball. If you let other people walk over you, you’ll lose the respect of your colleagues and members of your team. No matter how much criticism you attract, hang tough and fight your corner. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: when your back’s against the wall

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: a complete person

complete person

Zilu asked how to define a “complete person”. Confucius said: “Take someone as wise as Zang Wuzhong, as free from desire as Gongchuo, as brave as Zhuangzi of Bian, and as cultured as Ran Qiu, as well as being accomplished in ritual and music, and they may be considered a complete person.” Then he added: “But must a complete person be exactly like this today? Someone who thinks of what is right at the sight of profit, who is ready to risk their life when faced with danger, and who can endure hardship without forgetting the teachings that have guided their daily life may also be considered a complete person.”
子路問「成人」。子曰:「若臧武仲之知,公綽之不欲,卞莊子之勇,冉求之藝,文之以禮樂,亦可以為成人矣!」曰:「今之成人者,何必然?見利思義,見危授命,久要不忘平生之言,亦可以為成人矣!」

Nobody’s a complete person. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. That’s why assembling a strong team of people who complement each other in their abilities and personalities is so important. Nobody can do everything – and neither should they want to. A tight-knit and highly-motivated team can accomplish far more than even the most talented individual. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: a complete person

Historical figures in the Analects of Confucius: Zang Wenzhong

Zang Wenzhong (藏文仲) is the courtesy name of Zang Sunchen, a high-ranking minister of the state of Lu who served four rulers during the 7th Century BCE. Zang played a critical role in the economic development of Lu and was greatly admired for his learning, wisdom, and devotion to duty by his contemporaries.

One famous story about him was that he stepped in to defend a disfigured man who was blamed for causing a severe drought in 639 BCE because he was born with his face looking into the sky all the time. According to the charges, this meant that heaven refused to let any rain fall to prevent all the water from flowing into the poor guy’s nostrils! Continue reading Historical figures in the Analects of Confucius: Zang Wenzhong