The life of ‘Tony the Leader’ reminds us to always celebrate life to the full. Tony lived life joyously and passed on that joy to others. We shall revisit his long, fruitful life under three aspects – the Leader, the Person and the Follower.
Tony the Leader: This was the title he was best known by and it typified his work and his attitude to life. He made an outstanding contribution in the field of Leadership and Management through his training programs offered to business executives, religious leaders, bishops and pastors. His books continue to be used as standard material for leadership training. The pioneering spirit in Tony saw him build up important institutions such as ISI-Delhi and XIMR Mumbai. And of course, one cannot forget his stint with the World Council of Churches at Geneva.
Tony the Person: Enthusiasm and optimism are qualities that marked Tony right through his life. He lifted people up and always had a word of encouragement. People felt better about themselves after being in his company. This enthusiasm remained with Tony till the end of his life. He was the ‘darling’ of the Infirmary staff – they loved his childlike joy and heaped loads of love upon him. His cheerful ways brightened up life in the Infirmary.
Tony the Follower: Despite his numerous achievements, Tony always proclaimed that there was only one true leader – Our Lord Jesus Christ. The servant leadership of Jesus was the model Tony proposed as the one most suited for our times. Tony saw himself as a disciple, learning from the Master. This outstanding Jesuit was acknowledged by many as leader, but he always knew his identity as disciple of the true Master.
Tony lived life to the full, here on earth. He now enjoys it in superabundance in the company of his one true leader – our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Luke Rodrigues, SJ