Eli Black was a brilliant businessman best know for two events in his life: He
masterminded the multimillion dollar takeover of the United Fruit conglomerate, and he
jumped to his death from the 42nd floor of the Pan Am building in New York City.
In the book An American Company, an executive described a business lunch he had with
Eli Black. When the waitress brought a plate of cheese and crackers as an appetizer, Black
reached out and took them, placed them on the table, blocked them with his arms, and
continued talking. The executive hadn't eaten for hours and hinted that he would like a
cracker. But Black acted as though he hadn't heard him and went on with the business
meeting. After a while, Black placed a cracker and cheese on the tips of his fingers and
continued to talk. Several moments later, Black placed the cracker on the executive's
plate and then blocked the rest as before. It was clear that Black was in charge,
manipulating others as he pleased. When you play "follow the leader," check to
see who is at the head of the line. Eli Black, for all his power, ended up in suicide.
Jesus Christ, in all His humility, ended up the Savior of the world.
Our Daily Bread, February 6, 1994.
We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
S. I. McMillen, in his book None of These Diseases, tells a story of a young
woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the
application blank that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and
conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the
worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear Applicant: A
study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new
leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one
S. I. McMillen.