Why We Need Leaders!
Leaders lead! Leaders have a vision for the future. They have a vision for what could be and they are excellent at communicating this vision to people around them! We can tell an organization or society that has good leadership versus one that doesn't have good leadership. I posted recently on Facebook about the current prospects running for President. I mentioned in my post that these two gentlemen are not good, quality leaders. I definitely think that lack of quality leadership has a ripple effect. In my opinion, the quality of leaders is directly correlated with education.
In this week's Parsha, Lech Lecha, Hashem tells Avraham and Sarah to leave their homeland (Bereishit 12:1).
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ
We are influenced by the people that we are around. We are shaped by our families, parents, and others that we interact with often. With the words "leave your land" Hashem is telling Avraham and Sarah to be different. According to Rabbi Sacks, they will be the founders of a new religion, a religion that will not worship power and the symbols of power – for that is what idols really were and are. Hashem wants them to “teach your children and your household afterward to follow the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just” (Gen. 18:19).
Judaism has lasted for thousands of years, despite numerous persecutions, pogroms, the Shoah (Holocaust), and many challenges because we value educating our children. We teach them our history, we teach them how to live in a way that respects others. We are different! I've mentioned this in previous posts, we have a lack of leaders today, especially in the U.S. and it's because of our education system. Don't get me wrong, there are amazing educators out there. However, the system itself has many issues. I went to public school and I know that much of the history I was taught is really the "watered down" version of what really happened. Since I graduated from school, I have had the opportunity to read many books about leadership, history, education, and entrepreneurship.
Election after election, we hear big promises from politicians, some good and some bad, but no matter whom we elect, the government spending increases and size of government overreach increases. In school, we learn about the three levels of government: legislative branch, judicial branch, and executive branch. Each has its own set of responsibilities. According to Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille's book Leadershift, leadership by committee to get things right is the responsibility of the legislative branch, leadership by experts to deal with nuances and disputes through the judicial branch, and leadership in times of challenge along with leadership through symbols in the executive branch. It's also important to recognize the roles of the national, state, and local governments which each have their roles.
We need leaders! True leaders must have character, must be able to effectively lead tasks and projects, and they must be excellent in leading others and like Avraham, we must be different!