There is nothing noble being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
–Winston Churchill

What does it take to be a man? These are questions we have pursued for years. There is much fluff out there today that reduce the definition of masculinity to the size of one’s bank account, the type of car he drives, or how beautiful his girlfriend is. Some may say that being a man means knowing certain tricks or trades, or dressing and speaking a certain way.

The truth is that being a man starts with developing oneself into a noble man of virtue. This starts, as it did with our ancestors in the West for centuries and millennia, with the cultivation of the Four Cardinal Virtues:

  • Prudence

  • Justice

  • Fortitude

  • Temperance

This is the foundation of manliness. Even the word “man” in Latin is vir which is the root of the word virtue – masculinity and the acquisition of virtue have always been linked. Our goal is to provide resources for men of all stripes to foster these virtues so they can master themselves. This must be the first step, for we cannot clean up the world if our own house is not in order.


The troubling fact is that true manhood — noble, righteous, great manhood—is not something a man can achieve on his own. He needs a band of brothers who join him in this all-important project of striving for genuine manhood.
–Stephen Mansfield

There’s a cultural belief that we, as men, can and are supposed to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, not relying on the aid or advice of another. This is a dangerous idea. Our society is increasingly fragmented and scores of men are plagued by depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Friendship and camaraderie is less important nowadays because it’s easy for us to live comfortable, pampered lives without ever leaving home. And frankly, men have a much more difficult time making friends and opening up after they graduate from college.

However, there is an antidote to this. It comes under many different labels – that each man needs a tribe, his community, his band of brothers – and all of it is a vital rallying cry. It’s not an easy thing to come by for it takes effort in this day and age. Like any manly task though, it is worth it.

Men need brothers. They need people to challenge them, to call them out and hold them accountable, and offer tried and true advice. As important as these is the additional need for other men to grab drinks with, aid each other through personal struggles, and to undertake manly tasks alongside. Friendship and brotherhood are skills; as we begin to become more complete men, we need other men to join, support, and encourage us along the path.


Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are.
–Thomas Carylye

We all have our role models and men that we look to for sage advice and accountability. As a man climbs the mountain of masculinity, conquering personal demons on the path to virtue, he will undoubtedly attract other men who seek to emulate him. This is an important process in the development of a true man. Just as we are not meant to live alone and so reside in community, we are not meant (or able to fully) develop ourselves unless we rely on the experiences of others. This truth is crucial to keep in mind in our hyper-individualistic age.

With healthy, virtuous male role models becoming fewer and fewer, it is up to us to assume this responsibility of mentorship among our brothers and in our community once we are prepared. This is not done out of pride or entitlement, but out of the realization that all great men of history have learned skills and character from each other.

If we truly care for our brothers, we will live virtuous and noble lives worthy of emulation. We will share our stories, experiences, secrets, and skills with other men so that they can break out of the mold of haplessness put forth by society for them to be forged by. This is the last step in becoming a truly great man, for it begins the cycle of the pursuit of virtue, the building of brotherhood, and the mentorship of others anew.