The Rev Norman Drummond, whose foundation is being increasingly seen as a key driver behind leadership training in schools with the backing of the Scottish Executive and the Hunter Foundation, called for loyalty, love and laughter to be the core purpose of life.
Mr Drummond, who was headteacher of Loretto School in Musselburgh and is a former national governor of the BBC, spoke to headteachers about the "loneliness of responsibility" and urged them to consider three key questions:
* Do you know who you are?
* Why are you living and working in the way that you are?
* What else might you yet become and do with the rest of your life?
He said the questions were equally relevant to business leaders and to young people dealing with difficult realities such as homelessness and deprivation. "Real, lasting change happens one-on-one, one by one and then in partnership. Real lasting change happens in your heart and then in the mind."
In a question and answer session, he said there was "a lack of inspirational story-telling and too much technical focus" in education.