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Encouraging the Army

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 3.7 Encouraging the Army

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Martial Secret Teachings 3.7 Encouraging the Army (23)

Observed lessons

  • Leaders should show by their actions they share in the hardships and dangers of their armies.
  • Avoid luxuries. Be seen out in all weathers. Eat when all others have eaten.
  • Lead from the front. Show you are not afraid of death. Show that the mission is absolute number one priority.

Discussion

When officers have warm winter clothes and eat well while their troops shiver and survive on rations, the troops will not be motivated to fight hard for their leaders. When the troops know that their leaders could indulge themselves but prefer to share and be modest, the troops will feel that they are one with the leaders, will love them and fight to the death for them.

When ordinary people see their leaders taking personal risks, many will be inspired, while those who hold back will be shamed into joining them.

See also

Motivation

 

Sawyer, R.D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books

 

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