Image: NeetiR via Wikimedia Commons


Law #1

Do not trust those who are too ambitious.
Do not use anyone who has no ambition.
The former lack scruples;
the latter lack industriousness.

Law #2

If you hire friends,
your relationships are at risk.
If you hire enemies,
you are at risk.

Law #3

There are those who pose as your friends but work for your enemies
and those who pose as friends but only work for themselves.
Both are dangerous, but the former is deadly.

Law #4

To infuriate your enemy is to strike one blow.
To confuse your enemy is to strike two.
Anger weakens, confusion incapacitates.

Law #5

To conceal anger is shrewd.
To get rid of anger is wise.
To burst out in anger is foolish.
Calmness preserves strength,
and anger is counterproductive;
it will not help you make better decisions.

Law #6

Trust no one.
Show no fear.
Act out of wisdom.

Law #7

Strike like a serpent.
Pounce like a lion.
Crush like an elephant.

Law #8

People must love you.
Opponents must respect you.
Enemies must dread you.

Law #9

There is no substitute for courage.
There is no reward for cowardice.
A coward runs from one;
a courageous man stands up to a thousand.

Law #10

Do not do things to be seen,
and men will see you.
Do things to be seen,
and men will only see your desire for recognition.

Law #11

Do not make yourself larger than life with words.
Make yourself larger than life with deeds.
The insecure seek fame;
the skillful are hounded by it.

Law #12

For every thousand promises men make to you, make one.
For every hundred promises men make to you, make none.

Law #13

The shrewd make you choose between two options
that will both serve them.
The wise make you choose between two options
that will serve you both.

Law #14

Do not argue with your superior;
make him believe your ideas are his own.
Do not cheat your subordinates;
give them credit for their ideas.
It is better to accept blame where
you are not responsible than
to take credit where you don’t deserve it.

Law #15

If you deceive your subordinates,
you are treacherous.
If you deceive your opponents,
you are shrewd.
When your opponents set a trap,
pretend to fall for it.
He who ensnares his enemy
using his own bait is shrewd.

Law #16

The gullible are prey for the shrewd.
The unintelligent are victims of their own stupidity.
The wise rule over themselves and others.

Law #17

If you beat a great opponent,
you have defeated all those he defeated.
If you are defeated by a weak opponent,
you have been defeated by all those who defeated him.
One who conquers is mighty,
but one who conquers conquerors is mightiest.


A gift softens the heart of an acquaintance, confuses the mind of an enemy, and lifts up the spirit of a friend. ~Matshona Dhliwayo