4 Engineering Buy-in and Gaining Compliance

THE MILITARY IS on to something and has been since the days of muskets and keelhauling. It goes like this: The brass says, “Jump,” and then the troops ask, “How high?” Not only do the enlisted masses not have to like it, those in the higher echelons with the embroidered hats couldn’t care less whether they do. In fact, if you’re a drill instructor with a bit of a Napoleon complex, the less the grunts like what you tell them to do, the better. The reason this works is obvious: There is no viable alternative. A soldier can’t resign. Resistance gets the soldier some quality time in the brig. Request a rationale and you’re cleaning the latrine with a toothbrush—yours—for the next month. The only other ...

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