Effective leadership…writes Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

February 19, 2016 by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
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This past Tuesday (7th of Adar), we commemorated the birth and passing of Moshe Rabeinu – Moses. He was the great leader that took us out of Egypt and led us to Jewish nationhood at Mt. Sinai. 

Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

Rabbi Michoel Gourarie

There is so much to learn from Moses. Here are two leadership lessons that are critical to anyone in a position of influence. Both these concepts are rooted in the following idea – the difference between leadership and power. Pursuit of power is all about the person in control. Leadership is about the people we lead. Moses was a leader not someone seeking power. This is reflected in the following two examples:

1)    Humility – Moses is described in the Torah as “the most humble of all men”. At the burning bush he literally argued with G-d resisting the position of leadership. He knew that to lead a nation would be an awesome responsibility not to be taken lightly. He also understood that while an effective leader needs assertiveness and strength, he cannot carry a feeling of superiority. He knew that he would be there both as a master and as a servant of those whom he leads. He was afraid of blurring the lines and questioned his own worthiness.

2)    Attention to detail and individuals – The Midrash relates that before Moses was chosen to lead, he was shepherding his father in laws flock. When G-d saw him running after a small thirsty lamb with tender care, He decided that Moses was to become the great Jewish leader. Leaders have global, cosmic issues to deal with. But a true effective leader understands that he/she is leading a collection of individuals each with different personalities and needs. The great leader can think big and focus on individuality at the same time.

We are all leaders in some way. As parents, mentors, business managers, employers, teachers or just friends we all have a circle of influence. Our success depends on these two ideas. The less we think about ourselves and focus on those we lead, the greater the impact will be. The more we accept and understand individuality the more effective we will become.

Learning from Moses to combine strength and humility, global ideas with specific needs give us the ability to lead and inspire.

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