"The Metaphysic of Leadership"

The Rt. Rev. C. H. Brent, D.D., Bishop of the Philippines, gave last night in Sanders Theatre the first of the Noble lectures of this year on "The Metaphysic of Leadership."

In his address he said that the American university today is graduating leaders who in the coming generation must have the prominent places in politics, in commerce, in education. To this end the university must be not merely a place for thinkers and scholars, but for education that is not scholasticism, but the co-ordinating of all the gifts with which man is endowed. The world is greedy for leadership, so much so that it is easily imposed on by demagogues. It is all the more necessary then that you should become honest, straightforward leaders. A leader is only a high type of man; though he must go before his followers he must not be detached from them, that is, he must be human. He should be to the masses what a motive is to the individual; he stirs them up to motion; he seeks out the undeveloped capacity of each man. The demagogue, on the other hand, is a leader by his power to excite the passions of men, and to work himself into their confidence.

A man is no less a leader because he has few followers, for the true leader of men cares not for himself, but only for his cause and his followers. This is the metaphysic of leadership, simple in the extreme, the passion for the goal. True, that goal is not always reached, but there is motion toward it. Many a leader has gone through life with no recognition of his ambitions and efforts, only after death to have his plans utilized and his greatness appreciated. And what is this goal toward which nations, no less than individuals, are striving? We cannot say definitely what it is; but we can say that it is neither an unending judgment, nor an unending psalm of praise.