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Running the State and Victory

 

Disciplines > WarfareWu Zi's Art of War > Running the State and Victory

Chapter | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Chapter

First part : 1 : 3

Observed lessons

  • To lead:
    • Instruct with propriety.
    • Motivate with righteousness.
    • Instil shame in those who may not follow.
  • The more victories you need to conquer, the more likely it is that you will fail.

Discussion

Propriety is conformity to conventionally accepted standards of behaviour or morals. Values (and similar social rules) are far more powerful in creating deep commitment than simple obedience. When persuaded with propriety, adopt social rules and are hence ruled by the majority rather than just by a single leader.

Righteousness also uses values and morals. When people feel righteous, they look down on others who do not follow the same rules and judge them as unworthy, bad and deserving of punishment. The righteous warrior fights for something greater than themselves. They are often aroused to great anger and seek to bring retribution on their sinful opponents.

Face with the horrors of war, soldiers may easily become fearful and contemplate desertion or avoidance of danger. Yet again, it is social pressures that makes a soldier face death as the thought of shame dissuades them from showing any cowardice.

When you have to fight many battles in a war, each battle weakens you and may create deeper resentment in those you conquer, making peace-bringing even harder than the war itself. A brief, decisive victory then gives you better chance to win hearts and minds and avoid subsequent resistance.

In business, it is also wise to understand and play to social motivation, rather than use the formal power of being a manager. Clear business victories are also more likely to bring longer-term success than wars of attrition where you and your competitors become weakened by long, exhausting battles.

See also

Values

 

http://www.chinese-wiki.com/Wu_Zi_Art_of_War

 

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