At the Mercy of Ants - Part 2

Run with the horses and get trampled. It's impossible to get anywhere. Mount the chariot and take the reigns. The horses settle under the yoke. Bole trained them, Wangliang harnessed them, an enlightened master called for them. He did none of the work of training or tackling, but he drove them a thousand miles, admired by every expert charioteer.

The way of the prince is to do nothing but to get it done, to decide but not to play favourites. As soon as he does something, he's criticized, and when he does favours, he's courted. If he can't take criticism, he can be bullied, and if he can't resist flattery, he can be seduced.

In either case, when the power to appoint is at the mercy of others, it's impossible to maintain institutions. Since good foundations don't crumble, promises to preserve them are empty, but nothing beats changing with the times.

They say he's reliable when he doesn't act impulsively. They say he's confident when he doesn't let it get to him. Why wouldn't they feel safe when he's self-possessed and tolerant? Why wouldn't they succeed when he's self-confident and patient?

That's why he doesn't command them, doesn't force them, but something motivates them, something makes them. He doesn't doubt their competence, doesn't do the work for them. He respects rank and expects results, orders the government to run itself. He leads the way in ignorance, he's the boss to prevent abuse.

And just like that, his team is well in hand.