“When superiors esteem trust and employ the lower ranks with sincerity, they will exhaust their emotions without any doubts and never fail to be victorious in battle.”

Enamoured by the glamour and glitz of the present social media marketing trend, many of us may forget one important factor – trust.

Trust plays a pivotal role in how our society function. When there is trust between the people and their government, the Covid-19 situation is better controlled; teams function better to reach a shared goal; a service provider can better provide value for their clients; and business partners find their actions aligned.

However, since the chapter in Liu BoWen’s 100 Unorthodox Tactics clearly emphasized trust between team members, here is an easy way to determine trust between yourself as a middle manager with your subordinates and your immediate superior using a Qi Men Dun Jia chart.

In all cases where a team’s condition is being examined:

  1. The Day Stem represents the asker
  2. The Hour Stem represents the subordinates
  3. The Month Stem represents the immediate superior
Sample Qimen chart

In this example, the Hour Palace (2) produces the Day Palace (1), indicating that there is already trust between the asker and the subordinates. However, the Day Stem (1) is being countered by the Month Palace (3), suggesting that the asker does not really have the trust of his/her immediate superior.

Therefore, the solution to gaining the trust from the immediate superior lies in the North Palace, coincidentally where the Hour stem resides. The formation within the North Palace suggests a need for better communications to be in place as well as the need to resolve petty internal squabbles. Once resolved, trust can be established through consistency, credibility and sincerity.

Do you think office politics is holding you back? Get in touch to gain some clarity.

Permission Statement: The Qi Men Dun Jia Chart referred in this web article is copyrighted material belonging to, and is used with permission from Dato Joey Yap and Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd. For more information on services and courses offered by Dato Joey Yap and the Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd., please visit


“Whenever planning to conduct a major military expedition, you should first employ spies to determine the enemy’s troop strength, emptiness or fullness, and movement and rest, and only thereafter mobilize the army.”

In his chapter entitled “Employing Spies”, Sun Tzu emphasized on the importance of comprehensive intelligence. He advocated that even after checking the true nature by deploying the knowledge of Qi Men Dun Jia, the information must still be verified. Here’s the quote: “Advance knowledge cannot be gained from ghosts and spirits, inferred from phenomena, or projected from the measures of Heaven, but must be gained from men for it is the knowledge of the enemy’s true situation.”

I don’t need a Qi Men chart to elaborate on the use of Spies. In today’s world where everything is out in the open, spying on the competition has never been easier. It’s literally called the Social Media.

Spend some time in your competitor’s social media sites, particularly the comments section. You will be able to quickly discern the points of customer dissatisfaction, or confusion. Spend enough time on these you will be able to pinpoint the chinks in their armour that can be exploited by the wily entrepreneur.

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash


Welcome to this new series where we will explore Liu BoWen’s 100 Unorthodox Tactics and how those tactics can apply to modern day life.

Tactic No. 1 is Estimates:

“In the Tao of warfare, calculation is foremost. Before engaging in combat, first estimate the relative sagacity and stupidity of the generals, the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, the numerousness and paucity of the troops, the difficult and ease of the terrain, and the fullness or emptiness of the provisions.”

This first tactic mirrors that of the first chapter in Sun Tzu’s Art of War where he said, “Structure warfare according to the following five factors, evaluate it comparatively through estimations and seek out its true nature. The first is termed the Tao; the second, Heaven’ the third, Earth; the fourth, Generals; and the fifth, the laws for military organization and discipline.”

There is no doubt that Sun Tzu was a Qi Men master. Here is how the first sentence in the Art of War corresponds to a Qi Men chart:

If the intent of the hypothetical chart above is to find out the true nature of your market condition, and the question asked prior to plotting the chart is, ‘What is the current condition and possible outcome of our actions?’, this is how it will read:

  1. What is the current condition and possible outcome of our actions? With Asker and Outcome in the same palace, it looks like you have already set your plans in motion. Your intent is protective in nature. The 9 Earth suggests you are in defensive mode, looking to protect your market. Your current condition is good, with the Life Door, business is moving and you are being productive. You are looking to use unconventional methods and you feel the urgency to move fast.
  2. Your actions are driven by possibly knee-jerk reactions from the fear permeating the business world at this moment.
  3. The outcome of your current plans will lead to an aggressive disruption of the status quo which you hope will help you gain a bigger share of the market.
  4. Here’s the thing, though, whatever it is you are doing now, is going against what the Market wants at the moment. This is seen by the East palace countering the South West palace which houses the Scenery Door.

Looks pretty simple, doesn’t it? It’s always easy when you are not reading your own chart.


“If you know both your enemy and yourself, you will be able to win a hundred battles and never see defeat.” Sun Tzu.

The Qi Men Dun Jia system (literally translated as Mysterious Door, Hiding The Jia) was developed as a system of warcraft during the Warring States period, 3000 years ago. It is a system that offers a mapping tool to create a snapshot of the current time and space energy. By decoding the chart, the solutions derived can be used to formulate the best strategic decision for various situations.

There are many ways to use a Qi Men chart. For that reason, trying to create consistent content from this topic has proven to be rather challenging. Unlike Bazi which is a little more systematic, the beauty of Qi Men Dun Jia is its very fluidity.

In the sphere of Chinese Metaphysics, Bazi is often referred to as Heaven Luck, meaning what has been given to you at the time of your birth.

Feng Shui is known as Earth Luck, a tool to map the environment and use the energy to enhance your own.

Qi Men is known as Man Luck as it governs action. No matter how positive the outcome of a forecast could be, the asker will not receive the full benefits without taking the appropriate action.

Within a Qi Men chart, there are always short-term tactics and mid-term strategies. In this new series, I ask you to join me in a discussion of the 100 Tactics authored by Ming-dynasty minister, Liu Bo Wen.