If I had been more self-aware then, better equipped to analyze the remarkable circumstances in which I found myself, I might have asked myself if I was authentic in this new role. But I have no recollection of thinking deeply and analytically about anything that was happening to me. As everyone does in war, I lived entirely in the often miserable present. But in an almost magical way, the uniform seemed to bestow on me the ability to do what I had to do. It was talisman and inspiration, a symbol of my new authority and a mark of my new responsibility. More than 40 years later, Sydney Pollack, the director of such much lauded films as Tootsie and Out of Africa, told me how he turned himself into a director by playing the role of director. “The first time I directed anything,” he said, “I acted like a director. That’s the only thing I knew how to do, because I didn’t know anything about directing. I had images of directors from working with them [Pollack was also an actor], and I even tried to dress like a director — clothes that were kind of outdoorsy. I didn’t put on puttees, or anything like that. But if there had been a megaphone around, I would have grabbed it.” The role and a persuasive costume from L.L. Bean allowed Pollack to behave like a director until he truly became one.
— Warren Bennis
Reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Copyright © 2010 by Warren Bennis. All rights reserved.