A leader is a fellow who refuses to be crazy the way everybody else is crazy and tries to be crazy in his own crazy way.
Peter Maurin, from "Easy Essay" in The Catholic Worker
A rabbinical student, it is said, had a dream, and in his dream the Almighty appeared to him and told him he would become an influential rabbi. The student told this to his teacher. "Pray," said his teacher, "that the Almighty appears in the dreams of others and persuades them to become your followers."
Rabbi Lionel Blue, Kitchen Blues
We would do well not to be enamored by the kind of leadership that is so prized by politicians and CEOs, the kind that is conspicuous and, as we say, "effective." Forget about charisma, go for character.
Eugene Peterson, The Unnecessary Pastor (adapted)
"Beware of those powers which come from God but which can so easily be purloined by the Devil!"
Father Darcy in Susan Howatch, Glamorous Powers
Without heroes, we're all plain people and don't know how far we can go.
Bernard Malamud, The Natural
The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say "I." And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say "I." They don't think "I." They think "we"; they think "team." They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit. … This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.
Peter Drucker, Managing the Nonprofit Organization
The very first thing which needs to be said about Christian ministers of all kinds is that they are "under" people (as their servants) rather than "over" them (as their leaders, let alone their lords). Jesus made this absolutely plain. The chief characteristic of Christian leaders, he insisted, is humility not authority, and gentleness not power.
John Stott, The Gospel and the End of Time
It is not so much that man is a herd animal, said Freud, but that he is a horde animal led by a chief.
Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
The urge to rule (libido dominandi) is the devil's first sin of pride and the cause of Adam's fall, whose traces show in every heir to that primal sin.
Garry Wills, Saint Augustine
He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes.
Only by learning to accept God's forgiveness as we see it in the life and death of Jesus can we acquire the power that comes from learning to give up control.
Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom
Copyright © 2001 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Past Reflections columns include:
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)
Sacred Spaces (June 11, 2001)
Friendship (May 17, 2001)
The Cross (Apr. 12, 2001)
The Quotable Stott (Apr. 27, 2001)
Overcoming Addiction (Mar. 12, 2001)
African-American Voices (Feb. 1, 2001)
Forgiveness (Jan. 25, 2001)
Incarnation (Dec. 4, 2000)
Listening (Nov. 30, 2000)
Death and Eternity (Oct. 24, 2000)
Quotations of Time and Eternity (Oct. 11, 2000)
Quotations to Contemplate (Sept. 21, 2000)
Christian virtues (Aug. 22, 2000)
Beauty, Prayer and Loving God (Aug. 1, 2000)
Find hope and historical insight. For a limited time, explore 60+ years of CT archives for free!
- Daily devotions from Timothy Dalrymple during this pandemic.
- Hundreds of theology and spiritual formation classics from Philip Yancey, Elisabeth Elliot, John Stott, and more.
- Thought journalism that inspires you to think more deeply about your faith.
- Learn more