Proximity to Responsibility

Taken from Optics: Perspective and Detachment in the Counterinsurgency Series.

Whoever is closest to the job is most responsible for it. The body understands this, and will help compensate for weaknesses and imbalances. It will do so involuntarily, and thus is a process unbeknownst to you, but you have to know, because you are the Leader.

An example of this is when one muscle compensates for a weaker, phasic muscle. Another example is when one of your subordinates is taking on too heavy a load due to others’ negligence or incompetence.

As a Diplomat King, it is still your job to fulfill the job role of a Commander if necessary, and you must communicate with your troops. But instead of providing tactical training, you should communicate by sharing your values down the chain of command.

Muscles are trained by the nervous system, not by the Commander directly. This is an example of delegating responsibility, and the body does it perfectly. The peripheral nervous system communicates the needs of the body to the muscular system, it is an intelligence-gathering service for the body – your CIA.

I digress. Back to my point, the training of troops falls to combat leaders (the nervous system). The Commander has too broad a perspective to relate with the ground level troops. If he were to sit down and talk with a infantryman, they would have nothing to talk about.

The Commander would want to discuss supply lines and the national end state and the infantryman would say, “I just want to get home in one piece.” They can’t relate.

This is why delegation is so important. The Commander needs to delegate the training  of the infantryman to a sergeant or a captain for two reasons:

  1. They are physically closer to the infantryman – they eat with them, sleep with them, and go out on patrol with them.
  2. They are closer to the infantryman in their perspective – they share more values (even if only a few) than the Commander shares with the infantryman.

Review the Perspective of Command.