Cao Cao, a talented hero, can even kill his son and enemy

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It has issued three orders to attract talents from all over the world

At any time, whether we can employ people or not is the key to success or failure. During the Three Kingdoms period at the end of the Han Dynasty, heroes such as gongsunzan, yuanshao, Yuanshu, Liu Biao and Liu Zhang who did not understand the art of employing people ended in failure. Only Cao Cao, Liu Bei and Sun Quan, who knew how to employ people, finally established their king status.

Cao Cao knows people well and is good at observing them. He is only competent and excels at employing them. He gathered talents from all over the world at all costs, and issued orders to seek talents three times, so that talents from all over the world gathered around him one after another, forming a situation in which there were so many generals. It was with the help of many talents that Cao Cao wiped out the heroes and completed the great cause of unifying the north.

Qiao Xuan said that Cao Cao was the “talent of life”

Xushao called Cao Cao a “treacherous hero in troubled times”

Cao Cao, who was born in the turbulent times at the end of the Han Dynasty, was a descendant of Cao can, the Prime Minister of the Western Han Dynasty. His father, Cao song, was the adopted son of the eunuch Cao Teng, who later became an official to the Taiwei. According to historical records, Cao Cao “was less alert and had power, but allowed the Xia to be dissolute and did not rule the industry”. At that time, many scholars and bureaucrats looked down upon Cao Cao. Only Taiwei Qiao Xuan and Nanyang man he Fen looked at him differently.

Qiaoxuan said to Cao Cao, “the world will be in chaos. It is not the talent of the world. It cannot be helped. It is the king who can make peace.” When he saw Cao Cao, he sighed, “the Han family is going to die. Whoever settles the world will be a man!” Qiao Xuan said to Cao Cao, “you are not famous. You can give it to Xu Zijiang.” Xu Zijiang was Xu Shao, a good judge of people. He and his brother Xu Jing were very famous at that time. Cao Cao visited Xu Shao. He asked Xu Shao, “who am I?” Xu Shao despised him and kept silent. Cao Cao was very angry and kidnapped Xu Shao by force. Xu Shao had to say, “son, a capable minister in governing the world and a treacherous hero in troubled times.” Cao Cao did not mind being evaluated as a “traitor” and went away with great joy.

During the reign of emperor Zhongping of the Han Dynasty, Dong Zhuo was autocratic and misguided. Heroes all over the world started to attack Dong Zhuo and promoted Yuan Shao as the leader of the alliance. Yuan Shao asked Cao Cao, “if things are not sorted out, what can we do about them?” Cao Cao asked, “why do you think so?” Yuan Shao said, “we are fighting against the river in the south, blocking Yan’s expedition in the north, and fighting for the world in the south, so we can help the poor.” Cao Cao said, “I am the world’s intelligence, and I can resist it with Tao.”

From the dialogue between them, it can be seen that Yuan Shao paid attention to occupying the land of victory, while Cao Cao paid attention to employing people. He wanted to make use of the “wisdom” and “strength” of talents in the world to achieve the realm of “omnipotence”.



Cao Cao’s powerful generals are like clouds

Xun Yu was the grandson of Xunshu, a famous official in the Eastern Han Dynasty. He Yu thought he had a promising future. He commented on Xun Yu: “Wang zuozhi is a talented person!” When the world was in chaos, Xunzhi led his clan to follow Han Fu, a herdsman in Jizhou. Later, Yuan Shao took Han Fu’s official position and treated Xunzhi as a guest of honor. However, Xun Yu felt that Yuan Shao could not achieve great success. He heard that Cao Cao had great talent and vision, so he left Yuan Shao and went to Cao Cao. Cao Cao talked with him about current affairs and situations. Xun Yu was insightful and Cao Cao was very happy. He said, “my son’s wife is too!” He compared Xun Yu to Zhang Liang (Zi Fang) and appointed him as Fenwu Sima.

In the first year of Jian’an (A.D. 196), Cao Cao accepted the suggestions of Mao Kai and Xun Kai, went to Luoyang to welcome the emperor of Han Dynasty, moved the capital to Xuchang (now Xuchang in Henan), and began to “command the princes by holding the emperor”. He took Xun Yu as his servant and kept the decree of the minister. Cao Cao asked Xun Yu to recommend some “schemers”, and Xun Yu recommended his nephew Xunyou and Guojia from Yingchuan. Cao Cao appointed Xunyou as the minister. After talking with Xunyou, he said happily, “Gongda (Xunyou’s word Gongda) is very human. I have to deal with it. Why should the world worry?” So he took Xunyou as his military adviser.

Xunyou was a man of “deep wisdom and defense”. He followed Cao Cao to conquer the East and the west, often plotting strategies. At that time, neither Cao Cao’s subordinates nor Xunyou’s children knew his tricks. Cao Cao once said, “if xunwenruo (xunwenruo) does not advance into the good, he will not stop; if xungongda does not eliminate the evil, he will not stop.” He also said: “two Xunzi’s theories on people have been beneficial for a long time. I will never forget them.”

Yuan Shao was suspicious of employing people because of his leniency

Cao Cao is simple in the outside but clear in the inside

Guojia was a famous counselor of the Three Kingdoms. At the beginning, he heard that Yuan Shao was respectful to the virtuous corporal and asked him to go to Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao was very polite to him, but after living there for dozens of days, he couldn’t sit still. Guo Jia said to Xin Ping and Guo Tu, Yuan Shao’s counselor, “a wise man judges the LORD by measuring, so he can make a hundred achievements and fame. Duke yuan’s disciples want to serve the corporal of Duke Zhou, but they don’t know how to use people. They have many ends and few demands, and they are willing to make no decision. It’s difficult to help the world and determine the overlord’s cause. I will ask the Lord more and go away!” However, Xin Ping and Guo Tu did not want to leave yuanshao. Knowing that they did not wake up, Guo Jia stopped talking about it and left yuanshao alone.

Recommended by Xun Yu, Cao Cao met Guojia. They talked about world affairs. Cao Cao said happily, “he who makes a lonely man become a great man must be this man!” After the meeting, Guo Jia came out and said happily to others, “my Lord!” Cao Cao appointed Guojia as Sikong to offer a toast.

In the second year of Jian’an (AD 197), Yuan Shao wrote a letter to Cao Cao with arrogant and slow words. Cao Cao was very angry and said to Xunzi and Guojia, “what can we do now to defeat the enemy by fighting against injustice?” At that time, Yuan Shao had the strongest military strength. Cao Cao wanted to compete with him and was afraid that he was not strong enough. Xun Yu According to Guojia: “Liu Xiang’s defeat is well known to the public. Han Zu only outwitted Xiang Yu, so Yu, though strong, was eventually captured. Today, Shao has ten defeats, the public has ten victories, and Shao, though strong, is incompetent. Shao has many rites and ceremonies, and the public body allows nature. This way wins. Shao has been rebellious, and the public has been obedient, leading the way. Since huanling, the government has failed to be broad, and Shao has been generous, so it has not been bothered. The public has corrected it fiercely, and the upper and lower levels know how to control it. This is also a victory. Shao has been lenient outside and taboo inside, and people are suspicious of its use of people Any relatives and children are the only ones. The public is easy and the internal mechanism is clear. There is no doubt that the employment is suitable only for talents, regardless of distance and distance; If there are many strategies and few decisions, they will be lost in the future. If there are public policies and actions, there will be endless changes. This strategy will win; Shao Gao talks about making concessions in order to gain reputation. Most scholars’ good words adorn others. The public and even the heart treat people. It is not false beauty. The loyalty, integrity, foresight and practicality of scholars are willing to be used. This virtue is also victorious; When people are hungry and cold, they are compassionate. They are shaped by color. What they don’t see, they worry about or are not as good as what they think. They are often careless about small things at present. As for major events, they connect with the world, and all their blessings exceed their expectations. Although they don’t see, they worry about everything, and this benevolence wins; Shao ministers fight for power, slander and confusion, and the public officials follow the way, but they can’t infiltrate. This is a clear victory; The right and wrong of Shao are unknown. The public office is to advance with courtesy, and not to correct with law. This article wins; Shao Hao is a weak force. He doesn’t know what to do with his troops. The public uses its troops like a God. Soldiers rely on them and the enemy is afraid of them. This is also a victory. ” Cao Cao was very happy to hear this. He smiled and said, “as you said, why should I be ashamed of you?”



Cao Cao is a man who doesn’t stick to details. He uses his talents regardless of their shortcomings. Guo Jia’s misconduct has been criticized by “prosecutor” Chen Qun in public for many times. However, Cao Cao still trusts Guo Jia. It is precisely because Cao Cao attaches great importance to counselors that he has gathered a large number of resourceful talents under his command. In addition to ER Xun and Guo Jia, there are also Jia Xu, Cheng Yu, Sima Yi, Jiang Ji and others. It has been calculated that Cao Cao Cao has more than 100 effective counselors.

Don’t remember the Revenge of killing her son and accept Zhang Xiu

Be kind to Liu Bei in the name of a hero

Cao Cao is thirsty for talents. He doesn’t care about old evils and can use outsiders. Zhang Xiu was Cao Cao’s nemesis. She had defeated Cao Cao’s army. Cao Cao was wounded by an arrow in the battle. Cao ang, his eldest son, and Dian Wei, his beloved general, both died in the battle. Cao Cao always wanted to find an opportunity to destroy Zhang Xiu. However, on the eve of the Guandu war in the fourth year of Jian’an (AD 199), Zhang Xiu, under the circumstances of Yuan Qiang and Cao weak at that time, followed the advice of counsellor Jia Xu and led the people to surrender to Cao Cao. Cao Cao showed the king’s magnanimity of disregarding past grievances, “holding embroidery hands and having a feast, he took embroidery women for all his sons” and worshipped Zhang Xiu as a general.

When Cao Cao was in Yanzhou, he recommended Wei Chong as Xiaolian. After the rebellion in Yanzhou, Cao Cao once said, “Wei Chong is the only one who does not abandon the orphan.” Unexpectedly, Wei Chong also ran away and hid in the shooting dog. Cao Cao was very angry when he knew. In the fourth year of Jian’an, he captured the shooting dog and captured Wei Chong alive. However, he did not kill Wei Chong, but “released his bondage and used it as Hanoi Taishou”. Cao Cao said, “only his talent is there!”

Chen Lin, known as one of the “seven sons of Jian’an”, used to be Yuan Shao’s “secretary” and wrote the “Proclamation on Cao Cao” to vilify Cao Cao. After Yuan Shao’s defeat, Chen Lin was captured. Cao Cao did not forget the old evil and still entrusted him with an important task.

In order to attract talents from all over the world, Cao Cao tolerated those who took refuge in him and used them if they could. You Heng was talented, and Kongrong recommended him to Cao Cao. However, you Heng was “strong and arrogant” and despised Cao Cao’s deeds. Cao Cao was so angry that he said to Kongrong, “you Heng killed him alone, just like a bird’s ear. Considering this man’s reputation, it would be said that he could not tolerate him from far and near.” He recommended you Heng to Liu Biao and spared you Heng’s life.

In the first year of Jian’an, Liu Bei was defeated by Lv Bu and came to join Cao Cao. Cao Cao treated Liu Bei as the pastor of Yuzhou. Someone said to Cao Cao, “have the ambition to be a hero. If you don’t plan this morning, you will be in trouble later.” Cao Cao asked Guojia for advice. Guojia said, “yes, but the public revolted to eliminate violence for the people. They believed in recruiting heroes, but they were still afraid of their future. Now there is a hero’s name, and it is in the name of harming the virtuous to return to their own poverty. In this way, wise people will doubt themselves and choose the Lord. Who is the public and who will settle the world? I can’t help but look around the world for the danger of eliminating one person and the opportunity for safety.” Cao Cao said with a smile, “you have it!” Therefore, Cao Cao not only did not kill Liu Bei, but also “benefited his soldiers, gave food, made the east reach Pei, and collected the scattered soldiers to achieve Lu Bu”.



Guojia was one of Cao Cao’s most effective advisers. He advised Cao Cao to be kind to Liu Bei.

Be able to do whatever you can

Cao Cao was surrounded by not only many advisers, but also a large number of literati and military generals under his command, including Wang Lang, Hua Xin, Chen Lin, Cui Yan, Zhang Liao, Xu Huang, Zhang Ying, Dian Wei, Xu Chu, Yu Jin, etc. Cao Cao netted most of the talents in the north at that time, which not only enriched the power of the Cao Wei regime, but also put an end to the possibility that these talents could be used by the enemy.

Cao Cao knows people well and is good at observing them. He must make every effort to employ them. At that time, there was great chaos in the world, the people abandoned agriculture, and the various armies were short of food. Yu Lin, jujube supervisor, and Qi Du Wei, Ren Jun, were competent in agricultural production. Zao Zhi proposed to build a garrison, and Cao Cao accepted his proposal. He appointed Zao Zhi as the garrison commander and Ren Jun as the general of Diannong Zhonglang. He raised people to garrison the fields near Xudu and won millions of Dendrobium. As a result, the prefectures and counties also set up tuntian officers, “where there are accumulated valleys, the warehouses are full.”. So that Cao Cao could conquer all directions without the labor of transporting grain.

Du Ji had the ability to govern the place, so Cao Cao entrusted Fang Yu with the important task of appointing him as the prefect of Hedong. As a result, “Hedong was often the best in the world for 16 years.”.

Cao Cao attached great importance to the selection of military generals. In the battle of Puyang West, Cao Cao led his troops to a fierce battle with Lu Bu. The battle was still unbeaten from the morning to the evening. Cao Cao’s recruits were trapped. Dian Wei led the recruits to take the lead. The enemy “unleashed their bows and crossbows like rain”. Dian Wei shouted with a halberd when he was only five steps away from the enemy. “All those who could defeat him” forced Cao Cao to retreat safely. Cao Cao immediately took Dianwei as his lieutenant and ordered him to lead hundreds of his own soldiers to protect the commander’s account.

During the eastern expedition against Yuanshu, Xu Chu, a man of peiguo who was extremely brave, led his clan to take refuge in Cao Cao. Cao Cao liked Xu Chu very much and said, “this is my fan Kuai!” He compared Xu Chu to Liu Bang’s general fankuai, and today he worshipped Xu Chu as a lieutenant and led him to Su Wei. On the eve of the battle of Guandu, Cao Cao’s subordinates Xu TA and others murdered Cao Cao. They entered Cao Cao’s big tent and saw the majestic Xu Chu. Their faces changed. Xu Chu saw that their actions were suspicious and killed them.

The order for seeking talents emphasizes the meritocracy

In the process of competing with other heroes in the Central Plains and establishing the regime of Cao Wei, Cao Cao issued three orders to recruit talents from all over the world.

The first was in the spring of the 15th year of Jian’an (AD 210), Cao Cao ordered: “Since ancient times, he has been appointed as the king of Zhongxing. How can he not be a virtuous man and a gentleman who jointly rule the world? He has never been out of the alleys. How can he be lucky to meet each other? The people on earth don’t ask for the ears of others. Today’s decision has not been made. This is a particularly urgent time to ask for the talents.” Meng gongchuo is an old man of Zhao and Wei, but a good man. He can’t be a doctor tengxue. “If he can be used later, how can Qi Huanqi dominate the world! Today, is there no one who has been caught by Lin Huaiyu in Weibin? And no one who has stolen his sister-in-law Gold without meeting the ignorant? The two or three sons and their assistants are clear and humble. They are only competent. I can use them if I have them! “

Here, Cao Cao put forward two views on Employment: first, most of the wise men came from the lower class, “never left the alley”, such as Jiang Ziya, who was “caught in the Weibin by linhuaiyu”. In the past, we only focused on the selection of talents at the upper and middle levels of the society, so that the sages at the lower levels of the society did not have the opportunity to give full play to their talents. Second, the selection of talents must be based on merit. For example, according to the standard of selecting talents by virtue in the Eastern Han Dynasty, there would be no such talents as Chen Ping who had stolen his wife and received gold. If only honest talents were selected, Duke Huan of Qi would not be able to dominate.



Jiang Taigong’s fishing picture.

“If Meng gongchuo is an old man of Zhao and Wei, he is excellent. He cannot be a doctor tengxue.” This sentence comes from the Analects of Confucius, which means: “Meng gongchuo called him a minister of the Zhao and Wei families of the Jin State. He had enough strength, but he was not able to be a doctor in such a small country as Teng and Xue.” Cao Cao quoted Confucius as saying that those who have virtue may not have talent.

In the 19th year of Jian’an (214), Cao Cao issued the second order for seeking talents. The order said: “a man who has deeds may not be able to make progress, and an enterprising man may not be able to make progress. Chen Ping is not a man of deeds, and Su Qin is not a man of faith and evil? While Chen Ping is a man of Han Dynasty, Su Qin is a man of weak Yan. In this sense, scholars are short, and can never be abandoned! If there is a secretary who thinks this righteousness, there will be no stagnation of scholars and no abolition of officials.” Clearly put forward that talents should not be faulted for perfection, and again stressed that the standard of selecting talents should not be based on moral behavior.

In the 22nd year of Jian’an (AD 217), Cao Cao issued the order of seeking talents for the third time: “In the past, Yi Zhi and Fu Shuo were born of cunts. Guan Zhong and Huan Gong were also thieves. They all used them to prosper. Xiao He, Cao can, county officials, Han Xin and Chen Ping, were shamed by their insults. Their deaths have been able to achieve the king’s cause for thousands of years. Wu Qi was greedy, confident in killing his wife, scattering money for an official, and his mother died. However, in Wei, the Qin people did not dare to move eastward; in Chu, the three Jin Dynasties did not dare to move southward. Today, there are no people with supreme virtue who are placed among the people and dare to fight against the enemy regardless ? If the officials of culture and customs are different, they may be generals. If you have a reputation for being insulted, if you laugh at it, or if you are unkind or unfilial and have the skill of governing the country and employing troops, you should not leave anything behind. “

In this order, Cao Cao listed a group of generals and prime ministers of the Shang Dynasty, the spring and Autumn period, the Warring States period and the Western Han Dynasty. These people were born in humble origins, or had been sworn enemies of kings, or had a humiliating name, or were unkind and unfilial. However, they all had the talent to govern the country and use troops. Ancient kings used them to achieve their hegemony. Yi Zhi is Yi Yin. He was originally married to a slave. Shang Tang promoted him from the slave group as his assistant. Yi Yin helped Shang Tang to start his business with 70 Li, destroyed Xia Jie and established the Shang Dynasty. Fu Shuo was a virtuous Minister of King Wuding of Shang Dynasty. Wuding “held Fu Shuo in the midst of Banzhu”. Fu Shuo assisted Wuding in governing the country and made him the leader of ZTE. Guan Zhong was the virtuous Prime Minister of the state of Qi. He once shot Duke Huan of Qi with an arrow, but Duke Huan of Qi ignored the past grievances and entrusted the state of Qi to Guan Zhong for governance, achieving the great cause of “uniting the princes and governing the world”. Wuqi was a famous general in the Warring States period. He contributed to the power of Wei and Chu. However, he once killed his wife and asked for a general. His mother died without running to mourn. It can be said that he was unkind and unfilial. Xiao He, Cao can, Han Xin and Chen Ping were all from the Western Han Dynasty. Xiao and Cao were originally county officials in Peixian county. Han Xin once endured the humiliation of his crotch. Chen Ping had a stolen wife who was stigmatized by gold. These four people helped Liu Bang achieve Wang Ye and “wrote for thousands of years”. Taking these people as examples, Cao Cao hoped to employ talents regardless of style and achieve his hegemony.

Historical evaluation

Chen Shou, the author of the annals of the Three Kingdoms, called Cao Cao “an extraordinary man and a great man beyond the world”. He said: “at the end of the Han Dynasty, the world was in chaos, and heroes rose together. Yuan Shaohu regarded the four prefectures as powerful and invincible. The Taizu (Cao Cao) planned and acted to whip the universe. The magic of applying for business was a unique strategy of Han and Bai. The official granted materials. Each of them had his own tools, and he acted as he wished, regardless of the old and evil. He could finally control the emperor’s machine and become a Hongye, but his wisdom was the best. Suppression can be described as an extraordinary person and a masterpiece beyond the world.”

Sima Guang also made a high appraisal of Cao Cao in the general review of Zizhi, He said: “the king (Cao Cao) knows people well and is good at observing, but can’t dazzle them with falsehood. He knows how to pull out wizards, and doesn’t stick to the lowly. He can use them whenever he can. When he confronts the enemy, he means to be at ease, if he doesn’t want to fight; when he takes the opportunity to win, his momentum is overflowing. Meritorious work deserves rewards, and he doesn’t stint a thousand dollars; when he hopes to give money in vain, he doesn’t give anything. His use is urgent. If he commits a crime, he will kill, or shed tears, but he will never be forgiven. He is elegant, thrifty, and not gorgeous. Therefore, he can mow the heroes and cover a few square seas.”

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