What lesson does Ender learn from Bonzo Madrid about being a commander?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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What Ender learns from Bonzo is based on Bonzo's mistakes, rather than his strengths.  Ender primarily learns what not to do from Bonzo.

Here are a couple of specifics:

  1. Operate under cool anger, rather than hot anger.  Don't let your anger consume you - but use it to fuel intelligent decisions.
  2. An atmosphere of fear and threat might bring a group together, but it doesn't necessarily optimize performance.
  3. It is important to know each member of your army.
  4. Complete control isn't necessary for winning battles - in fact, it is almost unrealistic as it is too inhibiting.

On the positive side, Bonzo does do a couple of things that Ender later realizes were effective:

  1. Neat and orderly barracks minimize stress and create a comfortably controlled environment.
  2. A sense of unity (within the army) can be achieved through rehearsed group responses.  (However, this appearance of unity does not necessarily mean it exists.  If it does exist, this practice can enhance it.)

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