"When work is accomplished and government established without ruining finances, overstraining workers, or interfering with officials, such that those below are treated well and the appreciation of the leadership is won, those who do this are loyal and wise administrators.

"If they waste money, overburden people, endanger officials, take pride in temporary successes in hopes of rewards from the rulers, pay no heed to their mistakes, and leave a disastrous legacy to the nation, these are treacherous administrators.

"In an age of perfect order, people are found for offices. In an age of order, offices are found for people."

-- From Thunder in the Sky: Secrets on the Acquisition and Exercise of Power, translated from Chinese by Thomas Cleary (Shambhala Publications, to be published in September 1993). Written in the first millennium, around the same time as Sun Tzu's Art of War, it is said to be an underground classic among Chinese businesspeople today.

* * *