Why did Yuan Shao lose the battle of Guandu? Politics is too naive

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The three battles in the last years of the Eastern Han Dynasty had their own historical values: the battle of Guandu achieved Cao Cao and made it possible to unify the rivers and mountains; The battle of Chibi completely crushed this possibility, and preliminarily constructed the pattern of the Three Kingdoms; With the disastrous defeat of Liu Bei in the battle of Yiling (or the battle of Yiting), the vitality of the three parties was greatly damaged, and no one could do anything about it. The history of the game of the Three Kingdoms really began.

In official history, the battle of Guandu broke out in the fifth year of Jian’an of Emperor Xian of Han Dynasty (200 years).

Before that, in 199, Cao Cao threatened the emperor to make the princes, which greatly increased their prestige; Yuan Shao annexed gongsunzan, won Youzhou, Hebei, Qinghai, and the four states, and dominated Hebei, intending to fight for the world southward. In June of Si year, Yuan Shao selected 100000 elite soldiers and 10000 war horses to attack Xudu southward, which opened the prelude.

In the first month of the next year, the two sides launched an eight or nine month battle in Guandu. As a result, Cao Cao defeated Yuan Shao with a mere 20000 tired teachers (one said 30000), and “took advantage of the victory to sweep the qingheshuo”, collected all the land in the north, and completed the regional unification.

As far as the narration of the romance of the Three Kingdoms is concerned, the bridge section of the battle of Guandu is not as wonderful as the battle of Chibi, but the reasons for the victory or defeat, especially the skill of governing ministers of the main leaders of both sides and their different consequences, are enough for us to learn from the experience and lessons of our predecessors without experiencing the sword and sword. Although many scholars in later generations summarized at that time, only its “many summaries” is more worthy of our attention.

So why did Yuan Shao lose? Where on earth did he lose?

If you don’t know how to take advantage of time, you will miss a good opportunity.

In the design of power tactics, we should fully consider many environmental factors such as society, politics, economy and humanities. Only in this way can power tactics be truly implemented. This is not difficult to understand, is it? For example, the people are suffering from floods. The government takes the opportunity to start water conservancy projects, and the people will not object. This is called timing.

Yuan Shao’s failure was due to his ignorance of this point.

Before the battle of Guandu, Cao Cao sent troops to Xuzhou to attack Liu Bei. Tian Feng suggested that Yuan Shao sneak attack Xuchang (“raise the army and attack later”), which was undoubtedly a very correct strategy, but Yuan Shao refused on the grounds that his son was ill. When Cao Cao returned, the opportunity to raid Xudu was lost, but Yuan Shao began to mobilize people to attack Cao Cao. By analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of the military deployment of both sides, Tian Feng believed that Cao Cao’s army was short of food, and proposed to fight with Cao Cao in a protracted war. Yuan Shao rejected it and locked Tian Feng up.

When I read here, I always felt that Yuan Shao was not a normal person, which was described as “voluntary psychosis” with current buzzwords. Zhugeliang once mentioned in Longzhong Dui that “Cao Cao is less famous than Yuan Shao. However, Cao Cao can overcome Shao and take the weak as the strong, not only in time, but also in person.” This comment is too polite. Zhuge’s so-called “human strategy” should refer to strategy and wisdom. Yuan Shao’s men did not lack brains. Xu you, Guo Tu, Shen Pei, Feng Ji, Tian Feng, Ju Xu, etc. were all famous intellectuals. But what’s the use of more external brains? Leaders don’t know how to be flexible, insist on their own course, and are like neuropathy. How can they not fail miserably?

Back to reality, nowadays, urban management around the country has almost become the target of public criticism. In such an environment, how should leaders take advantage of time to use power? I think there are no more than two points: first, change the law enforcement style effectively and properly, use facts to control public opinion, rather than being led by public opinion; Second, we should make more efforts to reverse our image. Many successful cases of crisis public relations are the result of taking advantage of time. It is gratifying that many local urban management and law enforcement departments have already done so, and hope to stick to it.

Neglect the purpose of action and lose communication.

The goal of politics is people, and the correct way of communication is the first.

When Yuan Shao went south, Cao Cao gathered civil and military forces to discuss countermeasures, and a debate between Kong Rong and Xun Yu was particularly eye-catching. Kong Rong: “Yuan Shao has great potential. He can’t fight, but only make peace.” Xun Yu said, “Yuan Shao is useless. Why should we make peace?” Kongrong: “Yuan Shaoshi is broad and strong. His subordinates, such as Xu you, Guo Tu, Shen Pei, and Feng Ji, are wise men; Tian Feng and Ju Fu are loyal ministers… What is Shao a useless person?” Xun Yu said with a smile: “… Tian Fenggang committed a crime, Xu you was greedy and unwise, specialized in matching but not scheming, and useless in every discipline: these people, potential incompatible, will change in life… Even if there are millions, what’s the point!” Kong Rong was silent.

Xun Yu originally defected from Yuan Shao camp and knew the situation of Yuan camp best. A series of infighting in Yuan Shao’s camp later proved his judgment: Tian Feng was jailed for his honest advice before the war, and finally died of slander by Feng Ji; At the time of military emergency, Xu you’s nephew was arrested and sent to prison, forcing Xu you to flee Cao camp; Guo Tu forced Yuan Shao’s generals Zhang Ying and Gao Lan away with slander.

In fact, by October, when the war was deadlocked, Cao Ying had run out of food and had to urgently ask Xuchang in the rear for help. However, as soon as Xu you rebelled, he offered advice to Cao Cao and set fire to Wu Chao. The whole war situation turned over and turned sharply downward.

This is the key to the victory or defeat of the battle of Guandu.

At the beginning of the original theory, Yuan Shao’s military failure was obviously due to the wrong purpose of politics and personnel problems. Everyone is an independent individual, with different personalities, preferences, weaknesses, work styles, etc. the difference is between heaven and earth. Therefore, from the perspective of organizational operation, leaders should consider the characteristics and characteristics of each role goal in the design and use of tactics, and adopt appropriate communication methods to unite and bind, so that the team operation will not fail. Guo Jia, Cao Cao’s number one think tank, said that Yuan Shao was “lenient outside and taboo inside, more planning and less decision-making”, “listening to slander and confusion, and confusion between right and wrong”. It can be said to hit the nail on the head.

Take Cao Cao and Yuan Shao for a comparison in the way of communication.

Cao Cao will let everyone discuss and defend each other and share wisdom on an issue through the way of consensus, so as to get the most thorough thinking. That is to be able to calm down, calm down, deep in the heart, repeatedly weigh and weigh. In addition, Cao Cao is quite tolerant and can control his emotions to accommodate “tough and aggressive” talents. Therefore, Xun Yu, Xun you, Cheng Yu, Guo Jia, man Chong, Liu Ye, Lu Qian, Mao Yu and others under Cao Cao can all settle in their respective positions, perform their respective duties, and never slander each other.

Yuan Shao’s communication mode is random individual consultation, not consensus. Under the implication of this mode, subordinates will only reflect their opinions to him individually, which is similar to making a small report, so that there is little Frank horizontal communication between subordinates. Yuan Shao himself is not only a “selective listener” (only listen to what he likes), but also an impulsive leader who is easy to confuse right and wrong and blame people with temporary results.

The direct consequences of this Machiavellian style and communication mode are very bad. The subordinates have the consciousness and psychological contract of “I am only responsible to the boss” and “as long as the boss is satisfied, others don’t care”.

Over time, due to the crowding out effect of resources, everyone should find ways to flatter the boss in order to get the opportunity of appreciation and credit. When opinions are adopted, we should try our best to make our own opinions (rather than group decisions) successful, or lie about success. In case of failure, try to blame others. If the boss adopts others’ opinions, he will do everything possible to obstruct secretly, waiting to see others make a fool of themselves. Such a vicious circle naturally formed the political ecology of Yuan’s false correction, so that the defeat was irreparable.

Lack of motivation, lose in virtue.

The incentive mechanism in politics is a very important means. A word can move people’s hearts and make them serve and drive away with determination. Being good at tolerance is the embodiment of virtue in Leadership (note, it’s not personal virtue). Only by giving up others and making a small mistake and pursuing one’s own great cause, can there be the respect of the south.

The so-called virtuous person governs the way.

In the bridge section of the battle of Guandu, there are several plots worth mentioning.

Guan Yu killed Yan Liang. Ju Fu provoked him a little, and Yuan Shao vented his anger to Liu Bei: “your brother beheaded my beloved general. You will conspire. What’s the use of leaving you?” After Liu Bei explained his clever words, Yuan Shao in turn blamed Ju Fu: “if you listen to your words by mistake, you risk killing good people.” As a leader, it shouldn’t be like this to criticize his subordinates. How can Liu Bei embarrass his subordinates in front of outsiders? Politics is not a cold thing, in which the rational and emotional factors are very important. It’s no wonder that Ju Fu sighed as soon as he came out: “the upper part is full of ambition, and the lower part is full of merit; the long Yellow River is my help!” So he pleaded ill and did not attend the meeting.

When Guan Yu killed Wen Chou, Guo Tu and the matchmaker stood up and questioned Liu Bei’s “pretending not to know”, and Yuan Shao was furious to kill Liu Bei. When Liu Bei offered to let Guan Yu assist Yuan Shao to survive, Yuan Shao’s performance surprised me again. He first drank and retreated (Guo Tu, Shen Pei, etc.): “Xuande’s words are also true, and you have made me suffer from the name of sages”, and then said with great joy: “I have got cloud growth, which is ten times better than Yan Liang and Wen Chou!”

These two words, the former hurt the heart of the counselor, the latter lost the heart of the soldiers, the use of power is taken for granted, and the demonstration of leadership virtue is cold and weak, which has reached the extreme. It can be said that Yuan Shao’s leadership image collapsed at this time.

On the contrary, Cao Cao not only rewards and punishes people for their “meritorious deeds”, but also rewards those who raise objections. In 207, Cao Cao ignored the advice of Cao Hong and others and went on an expedition to the Wuhuan tribe. Although he won, he also suffered a lot. After returning to the base, he rewarded those who had dissuaded him and admitted that he was only lucky to succeed, which is not the law. I hope you don’t dare to make suggestions because your opinions are not adopted.

If opinions are not adopted, they will be rewarded, so everyone can have the courage to make proposals, and there is no need to be jealous of each other. Over time, once a resolution was formed in Cao Ying, there was no second voice or overt obedience but covert opposition, and he could work towards the same goal.

It cannot be denied that Cao Cao is a leader who can make his followers happy to work, relying on the incentive mechanism and leadership virtue, which are the two most basic elements of governing people.

Yuan Shao is far from it. Suppose that if he can realize this and practice it a little, the outcome of the Guandu war and even the whole history of China may have to be rewritten.

Power is like the use of troops. There is no normal military situation. It is important to respond. Only by taking advantage of the situation and adapting to circumstances can we achieve great achievements. Leaders should appease their subordinates or the public in a timely and appropriate manner. After clarifying the principles, systems and laws, they may as well push themselves to others, multiple people’s feelings, sincere feelings, and the hearts of the people will return.

Isn’t it? Officials love the people, and the people love them. This is the plan to maintain stability and win.

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