Movement Leaders

Leaders and Subordinates

The leaders chosen during a revolution are important, but not as important as the command structure beneath them. While it is preferable to have a single figurehead who is capable, their subordinates are actually in charge.

If a single leader is in charge, their main job is to unify the masses and recognize their own weaknesses. Subordinates do the most work, while taking up the slack in places where the leader is weak.

Let there be no doubt: Subordinates make most of the decisions. If any one of them refuses to work with the others, or is not up to the task, the revolution is in jeopardy. Movements need teamwork, not necessarily a single leader. The sooner teamwork is achieved, the sooner the enemy can be dealt with in a coordinated way with fewer lives lost.

While a central leader is not critical, in many ways choosing one makes things a lot easier. With one single leader, teamwork is almost assured. Nevertheless, depending on the choices made by a dictator or revolutionary leader, world recognition or condemnation soon follows.

In today’s societies, how the world perceives you is more important than ever. Educated civilians of all nations have long realized there is a world where they can participate. In societies ruled by dictators, people are only beginning to realize that they no longer want to live in a vacuum.

Leaders who strive for recognition, and who work diligently with the world, reap all sorts of benefits for themselves and their people. On the other hand, leaders who chose to ignore the world have one single goal in mind. That goal is to build a closed society, where they can rule absolutely.

In the past, before international communication was so prevalent, this outcome was normal. Today things are quite different. Leaders who step down the path of isolationism are only biding time before they become a footnote in history.

Revolutionary leaders must not fall into the trap set by world intelligence reports stating, “No rebel leader has emerged as a credible successor to the dictator.” Leaders and their subordinates, made aware of their shortcomings, should not take it personal when these shortcomings are reported. What they can do is take this advice to heart, and work to improve the situation.

The truth is no one has experience in what they are going through, and many talking heads just speak for political favors. If the world looks at a movement and its leaders as unfit, prove to them otherwise. It is best in these situations to be truthful, be diplomatic, and be non-judgmental. Human nature of course dictates otherwise.

Limited Leadership

When one person is in charge, it is only natural that all aspects of the revolution become their responsibility. For better of for worse they choose their subordinates, direction of the movement, and even take responsibility for all battles waged. In the end, they become larger than life, either a national hero or a national disgrace.

Regardless of who is in charge, a hierarchy command structure should be implemented with the fewest possible leaders. While support within a rebellion has been achieved through multiple leaders, the pitfalls of too many leaders are well documented. The more leaders involved the greater the chance groups will remain fractured, leading to growing suspicion about everyone’s motives.

In peacetime, the more people negotiating with the world in good faith, the better it is for the county. During times of revolution, however, the reverse is true. Help from the outside world is easier to get, and more beneficial, when fewer leaders are doing the dealing. The reason for this is simple. The more people in a position to negotiate, the more difficult it is spotting the true leader. This magnifies the chance that outside forces help the wrong person while neglecting the right ones. The outside world wishing to send aid recognizes this crux. Being unsure with whom to negotiate, most choose to keep their distance.

Another reason fewer negotiators is advantageous is there will be fewer reports of someone saying the wrong thing. Some people are masters at choosing the right words. Others should not be given the chance to open their mouths where they can do damage.

The most damaging words a revolutionary can utter are words meant for internal consumption only, which then gets reported to the outside world. Ambiguity is not only confusing to outsiders, it is enough to delay or destroy all hope for help that was forthcoming.

World powers have their own reasons for supporting a revolution, and these reasons must be respected. However, even when the world is on the side of the revolution, there will always be other powers trying to stop it.

The most widely used tactic of stopping a revolution by outside powers is to support different groups to disrupt it. Sometimes these enemies will be obvious in whom they choose to support, sometimes they will not. Freedom fighters are painfully aware that the enemy does not just come from within.

Subordinates Responsibility

One way to combat opposition is to confront lies with the truth, and never get caught using lies of your own. This does not mean that you never lie. Just be aware that lies are a double-edged sword. Use them wisely, use them rarely, and do not get caught when you use them.

Propaganda is always a two-way street and the words. “The first casualty of war is the truth,” works for all sides.

All leaders of note, when gaining world support, will send out charismatic diplomats as quickly as possible. Diplomats found unsuited for this task, are given other functions. Let only capable messengers tell the world where you stand; again, and again, and again. To gain support from theRevolutionCenter, see: Freedom Fighter’s Pledge to Mankind.

Everyone in a leadership position must keep their eye on the prize and be dedicated to the same outcome. They must never forget where they come from and who they are fighting.

Avoid egocentrics and narcissists at all costs. Anyone caught alienating the base, or who goes against the beliefs of the people, must be dealt with swiftly. Those who try to force their beliefs on people are a new enemy.

Choosing Leaders

When the revolution begins, there will be freedom and democracy, right? Wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth. Freedom and democracy is a long way off. It does not come overnight, and it never comes during revolution.

Some say that revolution is born out of chaos. This is also wrong. Revolution does indeed cause chaos, but it is often born from a single unremarkable incident. The fact is most humans love law and order. History proves we cannot live any other way. That is why the world has hundreds of nations and has gone though thousands of governments.

The sooner freedom fighters unite behind common goals, common leaders, and common laws, the sooner they can concentrate on more pressing problems, such as winning the future.

In a revolution, the first group of leaders comes from the groups who spoke loudest, not necessarily the most capable or respected. Sometimes they are locals sometimes they are expatriates.

When elite groups get together and decide on who suits them they will want to succeed with their choices. The way to succeed is being quick in deciding, choosing the right person, and not succumbing to infighting. After crossing this hurdle the new leaders in charge must still be acceptable to everyone else. If the masses did not choose them, they will not tolerate them for long.

The questions from the masses will be the following: Did the elite group choosing the leaders vote for the people, or for their own wallets? Is there any hint of fraud? Does the leadership position seem like it was stolen?

The masses will be quick to judge, and will act negatively, and even violently, if they do not like the results. Any chaos that ensues could end all hope of unity or victory. It is imperative that appointed leaders get the masses to accept them quickly. With all this in mind, the longer they stay on the job, the more secure they will become in their positions.

One way for these temporary leaders to combat perceived misconceptions is to state from the outcome that, once the revolution is over, they do not intend to run for public office in the first election cycle. They must also constantly prove their own worth, that they are all on the same side, and they fight for the people. In the end, their actions and successes will be all that matters.

Everyone must be aware that it is difficult, and counterproductive, to change leadership once established. With that said, the revolution comes first, not the leaders. Regard any leaders forming their own militias, arming only their own groups, or stocking up on their own weapons with great suspicion.

Those concerned with future battles, as opposed to present ones, cannot be trusted. Dismiss them immediately, and watch them closely from then on. Too many dictators have emerged from the ashes of revolution exactly this way.

Leadership Qualities

For more information: Leadership Qualities provides two lists to consider when choosing leaders. If a movement is lucky, their leaders might have some of the desirable qualities, and few of the undesirable ones.

Protect leaders at all costs

  • Once leaders are chosen, their lives are in great danger.
  • Protect leaders and the inner circle at all costs.
  • Know that a captured or killed leader has a great effect on moral.
  • A leader who is a myth is better protected due to anonymity.
  • Be aware that infiltrators, spies, and government agents are not a leaders only enemies. Sometimes it is just personal.
  • Prepare for the worst.
  • Do not let leaders become isolated.
  • Leaders should never stay in one place too long.
  • Always use guards and lookouts around leaders, trusted beyond all doubt.
  • Never publish their meeting places or schedules.
  • Protect their identities by using pseudonyms or noms de guerre.
by Scott M. Eaton

Created: May 01, 2011

Modified: March 26, 2013

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