Two authors, dressed as polar bears, walk into a party…. No, this isn’t a joke, but rather a true story. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis attended a New Years Eve Party in the 1930s dressed in Icelandic Sheepskin rugs. This was not a costume party, but rather just the two of them trying to get a rise out of the party goers! These two were friends but also at times combative. They were pranksters and incredibly creative. They both appreciated Mythology, especially Norse Traditions.
I have always been fascinated by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I love their books and always thought there were such similarities… so much so that sometimes I would get confused on which one wrote which book and what exactly it was about. They would be very disappointed in my memory, but it is good to know that they were, indeed, connected.
So how did this, sometimes combative, friendship start? Tolkien started a club among the literary faculty at Oxford to study Icelandic and Norse literature. Tolkien and Lewis were both professors and after about three years in this literary society, they discovered a mutual love of Norse mythology. Tolkien is also credited with playing a large part in Lewis’s acceptance of Christianity – Lewis was an atheist since childhood.
It is this relationship that they had that great leaders must search out. No one leads without support. No one leads without followers. Leaders must search out others who help them improve and rise above where they are currently. Tolkien and Lewis challenged each other, helped each other, and built each other into great authors and leaders. We must, as leaders, search out someone who will challenge us to be better.