Nothing can be accomplished without discipline

July 26, 2017

Moving earth by heavy machinery requires skill and teamwork and above all discipline. Without this three components working hand in hand, it is not possible to work effectively and safely and someone will die!

This morning on the crack of dawn – a lorry driver ambled to work half a hour late. He was informed to see me at lunch time at one sharp….but it seems he couldn’t make it as he is too busy playing games or chatting to China prostitutes on his smart phone…at the end of the day when he finally got around to seeing me at camp.

I counted off crisp notes thereafter I told him – it is better that you don’t report to work tomorrow…..I could tell the others were not comfortable as they may have considered this punishment too harsh.

Thereafter the was a lot of muttering amongst the men….I turned to them and asked – is there a problem?..everyone looked down and kept silent and that was when I walked off into the sunset.


‘Many people I notice like to make hay of Sun Tzu famous quote in art of war on the chapter on managing yourself and others and they especially like the aphorism – treat your soldiers like your children and they will follow you to the ends of the earth. But these same people often elide the stricture that comes thereafter…do not spoil your men or they will harry you with minor complains and they will be useless.

It is for this reason that this famous quote often misleads those who only seem to have a superficial knowledge in the art of war.

Experience informs me in the beginning of every big project – it is vital to find a scape goat, gather all the men around and shoot this person publicly…metaphorically of course.

This shocking example from my experience is usually enough to set the right expectation between superior and subordinate for the rest of the duration of the project as it conveys clearly the leaders resolve and his single mindedness on how to accomplish the mission…be ruthless….be impalacable and above all make it clear to the men….your orders are not open to any form of negotiations….it is not a bloody democracy!

If you want a democracy then the plantation business is not the right fit for you. As men in this business are hard as tungsten nails.

Without discipline. Nothing can be accomplished.’

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