Marvin Olasky

We all share in this sin. Often we buy a book "written" by the leader of a conservative organization. We bask in his purported brilliance -- but the book actually came from a ghostwriter. Should we be surprised? God sometimes dispenses talents lavishly, but it's rare that top managerial talent and top writing talent reside in the same person. It's even rarer for God to make the sun stand still so that an executive who combines those disparate abilities has enough time both to run the show and to write it.

We often push leaders to overshoot on what I'd call the rhetoric curve. Some think that more volume means more effectiveness, but Teddy Roosevelt had it right: Speak softly, and carry a big stick. God spoke to Elijah (First Kings, chapter 19) not through "a great and strong wind," nor through an earthquake, nor through a fire: "And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him ..."

We all need to listen for the low whisper, and leaders need to learn when not to shout.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
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