遮短扬长

商略莫过于兵法。Business strategies can mostly be derived from the Art of War.

公元前204年10月,刘邦在荥阳和项羽对峙,刘邦派出韩信北上打下了魏豹的西魏国。

楚汉之争时,韩信率领数万军队,东经井陉进攻赵国。

赵王赵歇、丞丁陈余知道这个消息后,立即发兵二十万驻扎在险要的井陉道口。

谋臣李左车建议说:“韩信的军队长驱而来,就像锋利的刀口一样锐不可当,大王不要与他正面交锋为好。请大王借给我三万士兵,从小路去袭击韩信的后方,烧毁粮草,不到十日,韩信的头就可到大王帐下。

陈余反对说:“韩信的军队本来不多,又不远千里来袭击我们,对这样疲惫之师,何必用偷袭方法!”赵王拒绝李左车的建议。

韩信然后凭借着背水一战,大破赵军,在泜水(今河北省邢台北部)斩杀成安君陈馀,活捉了赵王歇,从此赵国灭亡。而此时的韩信,却在悬赏千金寻找李左车

韩信从来就没有考虑过要杀掉李左车。一个能提出“间道袭汉”的谋士,他的价值不止千金,此人将对韩信的事业起到难以估量的作用。韩信虽然智谋绝世,但他的主业不是谋士,所以他身边急需一个够分量的谋士,而李左车是再合适不过的人选。是先灭燕,还是先灭齐,韩信一直在思考这个问题。

一转眼的工夫,李左车就被五花大绑的捉来了。

韩信看到李左车非常恭敬,把李左车松绑之后,对李左车的智勇相全夸了一番。而李左车也是识时务的俊杰,李左车说自己是败将为何如此对待,韩信说“这件事与您无关,是陈馀愚蠢,没有听您的话,要不然的话韩信不能赢得如此轻松,说不定可能早就没命了”

李左车韩信的气度所折服,并接受韩信的恳求,留在韩信的帐下共谋大事。韩信说自己想打燕国,还请李先生为我指点迷津。

李左车说:“将军一举攻下井陉,击败赵国二十万大军,威震天下,名扬海内,这是将军的长处;但将军的军队连续行军,已经疲惫不堪了,很难再远行打仗,这是将军的短处。善于用兵的人不以短处攻别人的长处,而是以自己的长处进攻别人的短处。

所以,现在应让将士休息,同时利用战胜后的军威,致书燕、齐,进行政治攻势,使他们望风归顺。

这里李左车说”兵法有云先虚后实、以虚带实,您用这么短的时间就把魏国、赵国给打下了,现在这个气势、声势正盛,现在如果派个使者去燕国劝降,如果不降再打到燕国降服“

韩信听过钦佩李左车的才略,并听他的话派使者去劝降。果然,燕国听过立马劝降了,并说这个天下就是大汉的天下,我们燕国悉听尊便、马首是瞻.就这样韩信听了李左车的话,没有费一兵一卒就把燕国拿下了

I shall attempt to translate:

General HAN had successfully taken down Country ZHAO despite all odds. ZHAO could have won if they had taken the advice of Advisor LEE.

Upon capture of Advisor LEE, HAN released LEE and praised him for his wise tactics and strategies. “If ZHAO had not been corrupted and had listened to your advice, I would have been the one in chains now”

HAN then took LEE under his care and wanted to continue his winning streak against Country YAN and Country QI. As HAN seeked LEE’s advice, LEE said “you have established your reputation and prowess by defeating the great ZHAO in such a short time which is your greatest strength now. However, your weakness now is your soldiers are tired and unsuitable to fight a war that requires a long march.”

“Rest your army now. And instead use this overwhelming news and your battlefield reputation, to send a scout to Country YAN and talk them into surrender”

HAN did exactly that and Country YAN surrendered. With the advise of LEE, HAN took down YAN without losing a single soldier.

Company A
Company B

Lets take a look at these two companies which did almost the same thing but had different results.

Both companies launched the next iteration of their products which turned out to be less than ground breaking and did not met public expectations of what their products could have been. Both companies also kept a surprise product to show off at their launch event.

However, Company A took a huge dive and got hammered with their less than expectation product launch with most of the public slamming them on their sub par product release. Its surprise product wasn’t even being noticed as consumers were too fixated on what was disappointing to them.

On the other hand, Company B (which launched their products 1 week later) decided to launch their “sub par expectations” product in a nontraditional way. It is not so much that their share price rose, but the fact that public had not given them much slam for their less than expectations products. With their unexpected way of product release, the public are being caught by surprise and the company had successfully manage to divert attention away from their short comings.

遮短 (cover up short comings)

Not only did this help to mitigate their sub par product release, they made time and used their short comings to prep for a surprise product which then drove up anticipation and coverage of their event.

Now, we shall wait on how they would 扬长 (flaunt/ride on their advantage).

Thank you for reading

~ 己欲立而立人,己欲达而达人,己所不欲,勿施于人