When you want to change something, start from within. Purifying yourself will have an impact on the powerful and the humble, who will be moved to follow your example.
While observing how thunder and wind increase and strengthen each other, a man can note the way to self-increase and self-improvement. When he discovers good in others, he should imitate it and thus make everything on earth his own. If he perceives something bad in himself, let him rid himself of it. In this way he becomes free of evil. This ethical change represents the most important increase of personality.
It is important that there should be men who mediate between leaders and followers. These should be disinterested people, especially in times of increase, since the benefit is to spread from the leader to the people. Nothing of this benefit should be held back in a selfish way; it should really reach those for whom it is intended. This sort of intermediary, who also exercises a good influence on the leader, is especially important in times when it is a matter of great undertakings, decisive for the future and requiring the inner assent of all concerned.
In order to obtain a following one must first know how to adapt oneself. If a man would rule he must first learn to serve, for only in this way does he secure from those below him the joyous assent that is necessary if they are to follow him. If he has to obtain a following by force or cunning, by conspiracy or by creating factions, he invariably arouses resistance, which obstructs willing adherence. But even joyous movement can lead to evil consequences, hence the added stipulation, “Perseverance furthers” – that is, consistency in doing right – together with “No blame.” Just as we should not ask others to follow us unless this condition is fulfilled, so it is only under this condition that we can in turn follow others without coming to harm.
The thought of obtaining a following through adaptation to the demands of the time is a great and significant idea; this is why the appended judgement is so favorable.