Children

"It is not for the master of Iaido to control his enemy by his actions, but moreover to control himself and then to defeat his enemy, and to do so in every eventuality, a sudden and decisive sword strike concludes the operation."

My children, being children, want to manipulate and squirm their agenda through any manner of pleading, puppy eyes, and hugs.  Being a parent, however, I know that capitulation is not necessarily an option.  It's not that I don't give in from time to time, but if I were to let my children simply run amok without structure, well, you know how that ends. So for me, "no" means "no", not "well, maybe".

Our subordinates, being adults, don't do the same thing.  Or do they?  Isn't flattery, collegiality and fraternization the same thing?  It is the matter of using the familiar in order to gain advantage.  And with equally tragic results, I see how officers who permit that behavior fare, with constant disciplinary battles and personnel who are less than effective.

It is my hope that my children and my subordinate officers see my style of leadership and recognize that while it is difficult sometimes, good leadership requires self-discipline.  We all are faced with moments where it seems like the easy way is the best way, but down inside, we know that there might be a profound difference in the outcome if we take that easy way out.  It might be something as acute as an injury or death, or it might be at the loss of a lesson that the individual will take with them for the rest of their lives.

Find the strength to maintain your composure, stand your ground, and then put the issue to rest.

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