The Great Santini on Leadership

I just finished rereading The Great Santini by Pat Conroy. In the book, Ben, the beleaguered son, pays tribute to one of his most beloved teachers, Ogden Loring, with the following words:

“It took years in the crucible of human experience to value the gentle people one meets in the eye of the storm.”

Here’s the leadership lesson from the quote:

Meekness is not weakness – it’s simply strength under control. Think of the worlds’ most celebrated leaders – Abe Lincoln, Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr. – and you will understand that humility and calmness are an effective leader’s greatest virtues. Great leaders are passionate about their cause but work hard to tame their egos and understand that the cause is greater than self.