One feature of great men is that they generally know how to handle themselves in a variety of situations. They tend to be flexible and agile; they will know when to scold, when to chastise, when to use the velvet glove, and when to use the hammer. Only the experience of life can impart this kind of wisdom. But we can at least prepare ourselves in some ways. One of these ways is to read the letters of such men. See how they interact with their peers. Study how they solve various problems or issues that fall on their desks. You will spend a good part of your life “putting out fires” at work and at home, so you might as well learn from the masters.