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Leader's Insight: Redeeming the Ego

50th anniversary insights from our founder, Billy Graham.

Editor's note: In recognition of the 50th anniversary of our publisher, Christianity Today International, we offer these insights from our founder, Billy Graham, from the book The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham (Zondervan, 2005).

Billy Graham's first executive committee chair, Bill Mead, told us about Billy's taking him along on trips to the White House. "Billy has that presence and humility. He commands respect from presidents, from Ike, Johnson—all of them!"

We were in Fred Smith's home, interviewing both Smith and Mead. Fred said, "Billy was humble but not intimidated."

We wondered how someone could be humble and handle the ego while becoming such close friends with presidents.

"The ego must be redeemed," Fred replied.

"Meaning, you must have a strong ego to lead, but something must happen to it?"

"Absolutely. And you can tell when someone allows God to redeem his ego."

The mix of Mead's words, presence, respect, and humility, seemed oddly juxtaposed. Having the charisma to command ...

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