The Acton Institute’s Rome office led its recent Campus Martius Seminar with Alexandre Havard, the Russian-French author of Virtuous Leadership (2007), Created for Greatness: The Power of Magnanimity (2011) and founder of the Moscow- and Washington, D.C.-based Harvard Virtuous Leadership Institute.
Havard, speaking with Zenit’s Ed Pentin in an article following the seminar, said that during today’s economic crisis aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs alike are suffering from an improper understanding of the intimate union between humility and magnanimity, even the most religious and virtuous of them:
It’s much easier to say to God: ‘Do the work in me and I just do nothing. But God very often tells us: ‘I will not do it because I have already given you talents through nature; you have to discover those things and do it …Humility is to say: ‘I have gifts, I have talents, and they come from God.’ You recognize that you have not produced those talents, that they are a gift from him to you. Then magnanimity is to say: ‘I have them but I have to make them fructify, I must develop them and multiply them, and put them at the service of the community and the common good. So you see these two things come together. [Talents] are not mine. I have been given them and this is my humility; my magnanimity tells me to multiply them and use them.
Havard agreed to sit down with me recently and talk about the moral and character pitfalls in both the East and the West as well as the inspiration for his virtuous leadership training program. (more…)