General Meaning: The most successful general is not the one that triumphs in battle, but the one who is able, through strength of a resolute discipline and the personal power that results from that, to achieve victory without spilling blood. This is why for the effective leadership of any organization the key virtues are clarity, decisiveness and conscientiousness. The most effective team or partnership marches with a single purpose — a dedication to a common goal that is held dear by all. Otherwise, even with an excess of external discipline, unpopular wars are seldom winnable.
Let power be held in check by the acceptance of a common discipline, and submission to a higher authority. Look to the common good. When life is in balance, evil impulses are checked by human decency; parents die before their children; leaders lead and followers follow. If you hold or aspire to a position of leadership, remember that the true leader speaks to and captures the hearts of the people and articulates a clear, simple vision that unites them as a team.
In the realm of government, the relationship between the army and state is critical. Only when the state is economically prosperous can the army be strong. Only when the army is disciplined can the state be protected from disruptive outside forces. For this balance to be preserved, government must be steady, and mild toward its own people. When balancing strong complementary forces, modesty and generosity at the center can be a magnetic force that keeps relationships intact. Coordination of all elements is essential for success at this time.