What does it mean to depend on others?
We are all human, but our intelligence levels vary greatly.
The wise and the immoral, although different, all use rhetoric to sweet talk and defend ourselves, which is why the unwise leaders become muddled in their judgement.
To assess a person: When he’s successful, observe who he respects. When he’s powerful, observe who he recommends. When he’s wealthy, observe who he helps. When he’s given advice, observe how he reacts. When he’s not busy, observe his interests. When he’s learned, observe what he says. When he’s impoverished, observe what he would not accept. When he’s ill-fated, observe what he would not do.
Make him ecstatic, to examine his conduct. Make him overjoyed, to examine his demeanor. Make him angry, to examine his self-control. Make him frightened, to examine his integrity. Make him sorrowful, to examine his character. Make him endure hardship, to examine his resolve. These are the eight observations and six examinations wise leaders use to assess a person.
But there are also six direct; and four hidden relationships that must be considered.
What are the six direct relationships? These are the father, the mother, older brothers, younger brothers, wife, and children. What are the four hidden relationships? These are friends, acquaintances, neighbours, and confidants. To assess a person’s inner character, use the six direct and four hidden relationships.
To assess a person’s outer character, use the eight observations and six examinations. Then a person’s sincerity, hypocrisy, greed, awfulness, virtue, and wickedness will all be captured without error – as if he were running through rain, where it is impossible to avoid the raindrops landing on him. This is how sagacious leaders value a person.