- training, especially of the mind or character.
- the training effect of experience.
- a trained condition or order of experience.
- order among schools or armed forces or members of any group.
- a particular system of rules for conduct.
- cause pain, loss, or discomfort to (a person) because of some fault or offense.
- Deal with severely.
- words or actions of regret for an offense or accident.
- acknowledgment of fault or failure.
Only the use of the verb of discipline can be used as a term for punishment, and it still is not the primary function of the word discipline.
True leaders know that they cannot punish the people under their command. Punishment (as defined here) can only be effective in conjunction with the definition of apology. Punishment and discipline are clearly different from one another, and someone who is punished will not necessarily become disciplined. Or, their body may become obedient, but their spirit or mind will be removed from the consequences. Examples of this are situations where a person assaults another individual and is incarcerated. The offender may learn to not got caught or be forced into labor, but they may not feel that their actions were unjustifiable. So, they may become disciplined in patience, but not in the direction their accusers want. Often in a situation where a person has been incarcerated (where they feel unfairly), the punishment will only lead to resentment or further insubordination.
Laws only affect the law abiding.
Some leaders, under the rubric of teaching "discipline" (here under a misnomer: they have replaced punishment with discipline), feel that strict rules and adherence to doctrine is the best way to guide a group. It is true that it may keep the honest ones in line, and there's the joke. The dishonest or sneakier members of a group will only follow the letter of the law, or find ways to work around leadership. This is a case where the leader has a unit of bodies, but not a cohesive group of minds.
Tell an honest soldier who believes in his leader and doesn't want to disappoint them to jump. That soldier will jump as high as they can, putting all of their effort into it. A soldier that knows they will be "disciplined" or treated with derision regardless of how they perform may jump, but not as hard as they could unless ordered to jump higher.
A whipped horse is not "disciplined". It is broken and will only work or run as hard as it is beaten. A trained horse, one where the rider has led it, groomed it, cared for its well being, rewarded its effort, had its trust built between rider and horse, and can follow commands without the need for punishment is disciplined. The disciplined horse can be guided with simple nudges or commands. Rider and horse know that they depend on one another to be effective.
Much like leaders and their units.
So punishing a unit for the acts of individuals is contrary to effective leadership. All this provides is division within the ranks, and resentment both towards the offender, and the leadership for treating the good along with the bad. Why should a troop try hard if they are only going to be rewarded with what the laziest person accomplished or failed at. The understanding for punishing (or disciplining) the group is that all the other members will apply pressure on the individual to conform.
The reaction will have adverse effects, especially if the transgressor is charismatic. Mutiny, insubordination, or political maneuverings to replace the leadership may end up taking place.
Worse, you may find a person who likes to see the rest of the group suffer because they can take whatever you dish out, and the more you punish the group for the ones actions, the more the group will turn on the individual and the more the individual will misbehave out of resentment to being isolated.
Even leaders answer to someone above themselves, a chain of command that is supposed to allow cohesion. If the command sees that their delineated personnel are incapable of leadership, they will bring in someone else.