This past week I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting and hearing from New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas while attending a leadership conference sponsored by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and the Stewardship Foundation. As the foundation of his presentation, author Eric addressed the person at the center of his latest biography: German pastor, leader, and ultimately spy, Dietrich Bonheoffer.
Bonheoffer lived in the early third of the 20th century in Germany and quickly emerged as a person of significant influence in the German Lutheran-dominant community. This occurred during the period of time when Adolf Hitler rose to power under the banner of the Third Reich.
As Hitler’s brand of German nationalism gained political traction and assumed control of Germany, Bonheoffer thoughtfully and yet deliberately reached the personal conviction that the evil perpetrated by Hitler’s regime must to be stopped – at any cost. As a result, Bonheoffer joined an active plot in an effort to assassinate Hitler. The failed attempt resulted in Bonheoffer’s subsequent arrest, imprisonment, and ultimately, his execution three weeks before the Allies arrived in Berlin to end the Second World War.
For me, and among many other lessons in leadership, the dominant characteristic that emerged from Eric Metaxas and his observations on the life of Dietrich Bonheoffer is this: moral courage.
In the next few weeks I will further unpack this thought - and also look at several other character qualities that I believe are essential for those in leadership (or who aspire to lead) in these challenging times.
As a starting point, let me know what the phrase, “Moral Courage” means to you…