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Leadership means neither selfishness nor altruism nor

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Unformatted text preview: desirable character than others. As fighter, thinker or preacher he has made the history of man. A dozen million common men did not invent the wheel; it was one aboriginal genius who played with power and saw that the rolling log might transport his goods. The shadow may have interested in a mild way every contemporary and ancestor of the one who discovered that it moved regularly with the sun. And when a group is confronted by an unknown danger, it is not the half-courage of the crowd that adds up to bravery and fearless fighting spirit; it is the one man who responds to the challenge with courage and sagacity who inspires the rest with a similar feeling. The leaders of the world stand on each other's shoulders, and not on the shoulders of the common man. Democracy does not lie in an equal estimate of men's abilities and worth; it is in the recognition that the true aristocrat or leader may arise anywhere; that he must be allowed to develop, no matter who his ancestors and what his sex or color may be; and that he has no privileges but those of service and leadership. The leadership qualities will always be determined by the character of the group that is to be led and the task to be performed. Obviously he who is to lead a warrior group of small numbers in a fray needs be agile, quick of mind, strong and fearless, whereas a general who sits in a chair at a desk ten miles from the fighting front and controls a million men fighting with airships, guns and bayonets must be a technical engineer of executive ability and experience. The leader whose task is to exhort a group into some plan of action--the politician, the popular speaker--needs mainly to appeal to the sympathies and stir the emotions of his group; his desire to please must be efficiently yoked with qualities that please his group, and those qualities will not be the same for a group of East Side immigrants as for a select Fifth Avenue assemblage. In the one instance an uncouth, unrestrained passion, fiercely emphasized, and a bold declaration of ideals of an altruis...
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