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One day at an after-class meeting with a seminary professor, I was asked why I only spoke out in class once or twice per session. I explained my annoyance with other students who couldn’t shut up and who seemed to have an answer for everything. That I didn’t want to be such a student and that I felt it appropriate to let others get their fair space of contribution time.

My prof challenged that true leaders do not moderate their own activity in order to help mediocrity feel better about itself and that they aren’t willing to risk the tamping of progress even if others might find such vocalized thinking an annoyance. Rather true leaders seize every opportunity, he said, to contribute constructively in the push for more, both inside and out of the classroom.

Those words have provided an irritant to my comforts ever since.