in: Career & Wealth, Leadership

• Last updated: June 5, 2021

Solitude and Leadership

This post originally appeared in the Art Of Manliness ‘Trunk’ – a collection of cool stuff we find while wandering the vast deserts of the world wide web.

In a speech given at West Point last year, William Deresiewicz explores today’s crisis of leadership, the true meaning of leadership, and the necessity of solitude in acquiring it. Deresiewicz argues that today’s young people have learned only how to jump through hoops, how to conform to the checklist of what’s expected of them. But “true leadership means being able to think for yourself and act on your convictions.” A person acquires these skills through solitude, which includes introspection, concentration on focused work, sustained reading, and friendship (he explains this seeming contradiction). Deresiewicz posits that our tech-saturated lives lead to too much multitasking, when we really need to spend time working through our questions and doubts and formulating our own ideas away from the cacophony of voices we’re surrounded with.

A vital, insightful and important piece!

Read the whole speech at the American Scholar.

Hat tip to Joel Walden for this link.

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