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The Leadership Spill..

June 28, 2013
A leader we can all agree on. #spill #tastereal

A leader we can all agree on. #spill #tastereal

Thinking about Nelson Mandela I noticed the following Tweet by Josh Groban that sums him up – “Keep Mandela, and the great lessons of peace and tolerance he taught the world, in your thoughts as he fights to stay strong.”

This week’s Torah Portion (Parsha) Pinchas is summarised below ( http://www.ohr.edu ):

G-d tells Moshe to inform Pinchas that Pinchas will receive G-d’s “covenant of peace” as reward for his bold action – executing Zimri and the Midianite princess Kozbi. G-d commands Moshe to maintain a state of enmity with the Midianites who lured the Jewish People into sin. Moshe and Elazar are told to count the Jewish People. The Torah lists the names of the families in each tribe. The total number of males eligible to serve in the army is 601,730. G-d instructs Moshe how to allot the Land of Israel to Bnei Yisrael. The number of the Levites’ families is recorded. Tzlofchad’s daughters file a claim with Moshe: In the absence of a brother, they request their late father’s portion in the Land. Moshe asks G-d for the ruling, and G-d tells Moshe that their claim is just. The Torah teaches the laws and priorities which determine the order of inheritance. G-d tells Moshe that he will ascend a mountain and view the Land that the Jewish People will soon enter, although Moshe himself will not enter. Moshe asks G-d to designate the subsequent leader, and G-d selects Yehoshua bin Nun. Moshe ordains Yehoshua as his successor in the presence of the entire nation. The Parsha concludes with special teachings of the service in the Beit Hamikdash.

The Torah Portion includes the following words which are very apt this week – “May G-d of the spirits of all flesh appoint a man over the assembly, who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall take them out and bring them in; and let the assembly of G-d not be like sheep that have no shepherd” (Numbers 27: 16-17).

The question asked is what makes a good leader?

Over the last few weeks we have seen many changes in leadership. Some have been forced like Julia Gillard (how embarrassing for Australia!!), Mickey Arthur and Mark Neeld (Coach of Melbourne Football Club), others have stepped away from their positions after long and successful tenures like Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks who has served UK and World Jewry so well and other through illness like Nelson Mandela.

All these people must have had certain talents to attain the positions of leadership they occupied. I am no management “guru”, but I suppose the most important characteristics of a leader are passion, charisma, integrity, self-confidence, competence, and a host of other qualities as the mark of an effective leader. World leaders are expected to speak, motivate, and give direction on a national scale.

One comment I read by Sir Clive Woodward on the firing of Mickey Arthur as Head Coach of the Australian Cricket team – “The talent is still in Australia, but if they are to dominate like they once did, they need to return to the days when they promoted the engagement between athlete and coach, the days when coaching and the head coach was king.“ I think we are living in a world where there is no respect?

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has the following verse from Ethics of our Fathers (Pirkei Avos 2:16) on his website homepage – “It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task. Yet, you are not free to desist from it.” Leaders cannot distance themselves from their members/ teams/ congregants etc and not do any work and sit in their “glass bubbles”!

Last night watching Essendon Football Club (The Bombers) fight back to beat West Coast Eagles in Perth (even Loren was excited watching I was thinking with all that was going on with the drugs in sport scandal at Essendon the team’s leadership of Chairman, Coach and Captain must be so strong to keep the team so unified to fight to win every game. Jobe Watson the Captain was just unbelievable!

In this week’s Torah Parsha when Moses asked G-d to appoint an appropriate successor he referred to G-d as the “G-d of the spirits” (Numbers 27:16). Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (Rashi) explains that Moses was referring to G-d’s knowledge of each individual’s unique strengths and weaknesses as he appealed for a leader who can cope with (or tolerate) each person’s uniqueness.

To end I would like to end with a nice thought that gives another interpretation to Leadership that I read on the Partners in Torah Website (www.partnersintorah.org) –

“Each individual has a role to play in perfecting the world, and as such, our leaders must be able to communicate with each person on his or her unique level in order to bring out that potential.

To a greater or lesser extent, we are all “leaders.” Whether we are parents, friends, teachers, or colleagues, the opportunity to bring out the potential in others shows itself in many ways as we go through our days. Our success depends not so much on the amount of charisma or passion we display to the outside world, but rather on the caring, concern and efforts we put forth to truly understand the people in our lives.”

Lorna Jane

Lorna Jane

Over the last while I have received many messages about the Healthy Cooking and Eating I have been promoting. Today I noticed the following Tweet from Chobani Yoghurts – “If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.” – Errick McAdams – Personal trainer and Lululemon ambassador. I think there is more my darling wife and healthy lifestyle supporter said last night “Making healthy food takes time and effort.”

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2 Comments
  1. Mom permalink

    Always impressed & interested, well written. Thanks for sharing leaving me some thing to think about. Xxx

  2. wendy permalink

    great read Ian – thanks 🙂

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