Kaiser Headshot
Kaiser Kuo

Liu Bei, the Chinese warlord during the three kingdoms,  emerging from the mighty Han empire, has inspired inspired many, and taught valuable management lessons, recalls Kaiser Kuo, both rock musician and communication director at Baidu in the BBC News Magazine. 

The BBC News Magazine:

“He had fallen on hard times and he was making a living just selling straw sandals and mats,” recounts Chinese rock musician Kaiser Kuo, who loved the stories of Liu Bei as a child.

“In the story he stands looking at the poster that’s been put up calling for the brave men of the kingdom to rise up. And he sighs. And behind him there is a big burly guy by the name of Zhang Fei, a butcher, who chastises him for merely sighing and not actually doing something about it.”

The two of them go off to have a drink in the tavern and come across a man with a red face, a very long beard and a green battle gown, Guan Yu. The three of them then swear an oath of eternal brotherhood in a peach orchard and set about trying to save the Han dynasty…

Kaiser Kuo says he was once introduced to the Chinese-American founder of a Silicon Valley computing firm, who was born and raised with these stories and saw them as directly relevant to the company’s business.

“He had his senior management team meet every Monday morning to discuss a chapter of Three Kingdoms,” says Kuo.

“The real story is about how to deploy people of talent. It’s really all about management and when I read these stories today, I still find just tremendous relevance.”

More in the BBC Magazine.

Kaiser Kuo is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

The China Weekly Hangout offers each Thursday a debate on China’s current affairs. Today the focus will be on innovation in China. October 18 we will discuss the question what China’s telecom giant Huawei could have done in defending itself against the attacks by US Congress. For upcoming debate, sign up at our China Weekly Hangout page.

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