“ In this world, a man (or woman) must be either an anvil or a hammer”.
It is unlikely Henry Longfellow was referring to the anatomy of the middle ear in this analogy. The nineteenth century educator and poet most likely intended to draw on similarities between the nature of humanity and characteristics of manufacturing tools in common use during his lifetime. Nevertheless, the twenty-first century medical leader must embody features common to both the anvil, and the incus; to listen, to act with innovation, to be a visionary and to inspire others to improve the health of individuals and communities, while retaining integrity at all times. The twenty-first century medical leader is a servant leader.