His People Were Doubtful – Alma 46:29

29 And it came to pass that when Amalickiah saw that the people of Moroni were more numerous than the Amalickiahites–and he also saw that his people were doubtful concerning the justice of the cause in which they had undertaken–therefore, fearing that he should not gain the point, he took those of his people who would and departed into the land of Nephi.

In this verse, Mormon captures the fundamental dilemma an unrighteous leader faces: the people may be impressionable, and a persuasive leader may be able to convince large numbers to follow an unwise course of action quickly, but if that leader intends to sustain a course of action over time, he or she needs a committed group of followers. The initial sales pitch will only go so far.
Unfortunately for those leaders, people have consciences. People who were quickly won over may start to rethink their decision as the full implications begin to sink in. When they have time to reflect on their actions, they may question their rash decision to support this leader, or they may at least begin to doubt “the justice of their cause.”
Amalickiah was a clever and perceptive man. He saw that the Nephite army was larger than his own. More importantly, he saw that support for his military program was beginning to erode, and he recognized that the consequent loss of morale put his troops at risk of catastrophic failure. So he retreated in order to strengthen his position before the next battle.
When a leader bases his or her decisions on true principles, people are more likely to develop their own independent conviction that their cause is just. As a result, righteous leadership is more easily sustained over time than wicked leadership and can rely less on coercion and more on a shared sense of purpose. Note that this is not loyalty to a leader; it is a leader and followers operating in unity because all are in harmony with truth.  
Today, I will remember that righteous leadership builds on a stronger foundation than unrighteous leadership. I will take care to align my life and my decisions with true principles so that those decisions can be consistent with the conscience of those I lead.
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