Three visits to the thatched cottage for talent — San Gu Mao Lu

(Image is from internet 三顾茅庐)

At the end of Eastern Han Dynasty, China was divided into tens of self-governing areas occupied by warlords.  Among them, Cao Cao was the strongest military force, who was also controlling the Eastern Han royal court.

One of Cao Cao’s enemies was Liu Bei, who had royal descent of Han Dynasty, but he was very weak in military strength.  Liu Bei was determined to revitalize the
declining Han Dynasty, so he tried his best to search for talents everywhere. He heard that Zhu Ge Liang was a wise and knowledgeable man, so he decided to invite Zhu Ge Liang to be his counselor to help him increase the military strength and achieve his life goal.

In 207A.D, accompanied by Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, his two sworn brothers, Liu Bei went to Zhu Ge Liang’s house in Long Zhong, He Nan province. Unfortunately, Zhu Ge Liang was not home, so three of them had to leave disappointedly.

Weeks later, they braved the blizzard and went to visit Zhu Ge Liang again. To their dismay, they didn’t see Zhu Ge Liang because he went out for sightseeing.  Zhang Fei had been reluctant to come, so when they failed to meet Zhu Ge Liang, Zhang Fei urged the other two to go back quickly. Liu Bei had to leave a note to Zhu Ge Liang and went back.  In the note, he expressed his respect to Zhu Ge Liang and his plan to invite him to help save the country.

After several months, Liu Bei decided to go visit Zhu Ge Liang one more time. This time, both Guan Yu and Zhang Fei advised him not to go, but Liu Bei insisted, so the two sworn brothers had to accompany him. When they arrived at Zhu Ge Liang’s house, it was noon time. Zhu Ge Liang was taking a nap. Liu Bei did not want to disturb him, so he waited till Zhu Ge Liang was awake. Zhu Ge Liang was deeply moved by Liu Bei’s deeds, so he accepted his invitation.

After that, Zhu Ge Laing became Liu Bei’s head counselor. With the help of Zhu Ge Liang, Liu Bei finally built up his own empire Shu Han.

The story “three visits to the thatched cottage for talent” is now a legend. Liu Bei became the model for those leaders who wish to find their capable subordinates.


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