Leadership in Difficult Times:  Critical Thinking and Wisdom (Part II)

      Dear Reader: When I began this series of essays on leadership, I never anticipated the final installment would chronicle recent events that have triggered the biggest spiritual struggle of my life. So, this is personal.

Quem Iuppiter vult perdere, dementat prius

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first deprive of reason.”


      When I began my college career at Brigham Young University (“BYU”) in the mid-1970s, there was a creative writing professor who would give his students two essays on the same topic. The author of “Essay A,” the class was told, was a general authority of the Mormon Church while “Essay B” had been written by an Ivy League professor. After the students had finished reading both, the professor asked the class, by a show of hands, which one was best. Virtually everyone sided with the general authority. In some instances, it was unanimous.

     The professor then proceeded to dissect each essay, illustrating how the logic and reasoning of the Ivy League scholar was far superior to that of the general authority. But many students were reluctant to agree with their instructor, though they struggled to refute his analysis. They only yielded when their teacher revealed that he, in reality, was the author of each essay.

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