It will probably take quite a bit of maneuvering to keep your reputation intact if you cower behind a wall of bodyguards. It may be that this only ever happens if the young man or woman being protected is under the wing of a respected and highly positioned patron or matron whose virtue goes unchallenged. (I wonder if Krax had bodyguards - and if those took a step back every time somebody like Worf threw a legitimate challenge at the boy?)
To be "good at tactics" probably means you are socially skilled and can play your enemies against each other. If you can't do that, you can't manipulate your troops, either, and your brilliant battlefield strategies will remain confined to a simulator. This may be the Empire's loss, but the troops will probably be glad that none of their superiors are harboring wimpy savants who send troops to die in brilliant campaigns without putting themselves in the line.