There is no forest without trees. There is no group, organization or society without individuals. Remove the trees and there is no forest. Remove the individual and there is no society. We speak about “Service Before Self” as a core principal, yet there can be no service without the self. The self is that which empowers service. It is for this reason that Shakespeare advised, “to thine own self be true”. Recognizing that following what some bureaucrat proscribed or prescribed far from the reality of ground truth can lead to serious individual ramifications, choosing to step out of false limitations requires great perception and discernment.
Only the individual can think outside the box, organizations lack this capacity. I had a great realization of this on Friday. My operational environment is so much more than any two dimensional chess board. It is for this reason, the transcendence of conventional thinking, that Sun Tzu advised, “Engage with the conventional, achieve victory with the unconventional”. He also wrote, “only I know the formulation of victory, it cannot be known in advance”. It is individual, informed but spontaneous, choice that ensures true victory.