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Ambitious Like Jesus

If your ambitions aren't worth your life, they're not big enough.

So my wife signs me up to participate in a research project at Duke that was investigating the "effect of exercise upon Type A personalities who had no previous experience with physical exercise."

Why did she think of me as a subject for such a study?

A Duke psychiatrist had gotten a government grant to conduct the research. As he interviewed me to determine if I qualified, he asked me questions like, "Do you ever curse people who cut you off in traffic?" Answer: "I'm a Methodist preacher. I would, if I were allowed, but I'm not, so I don't." And, "Do you often think about people who have moved ahead of you in your career." Answer: "How do you define 'often'?"

Finally, I said in exasperation, "Look. I'm here at Duke at the top of the academic heap for the same reasons as you—I'm such a nice guy. Ruthless ambition has nothing to do with it."

Why did Leadership ask me to write this article? Just because I've been elected as a Methodist bishop, have written 70 books and have a podcast, ...

May/June
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