The Greatest Thing a Leader Can Do?

A gallant soldier of the US Civil War. Credit.

Why is it that it so often seems that
The greatest thing a leader can do—

The most necessary and
Useful sacrifice he can make—

The most logical next step
Toward the success of his people—

Is not the laying down of his own life,
Nor the taking of great risks in
Pursuing the magnificent goals
Of his people—

Not in slaying dragons
Nor in rescuing damsels in distress—

Nor in descending to Hades
To snatch from the jaws of Death
Those unjustly taken—

But merely in persuading his followers to do
Those mundane duties they are reluctantly
Obligated to do already,
And could volunteer so very well on their own,
Not requiring him to lift a finger
On their behalf—
If only they were willing?

If they have no such gallantry
And honor of their own,
But require the use of his to drive them
Where they could drive themselves
If they would but dare to care—

Then what a waste they make
Of a perfectly good leader—
Forcing him to fight for them
The battles against their own wills that
They are not themselves willing to fight.

The greatest thing the leader can do
Is to lead the gallant—
The honorable—
The fiery souls raring to go
And chomping at the bit.

But alas!
He cannot lead those
He does not have.

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