What Makes A True Leader?
This question becomes even more important in our current climate of serious geo-political uncertainty. A time when most would believe that true and inspired leadership has never been more seriously lacking. The old adage goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. The reason this phrase is repeated so often is because in fact most people do. The same applies to how most people rate leaders. Most often we tend to be highly impressed with superficial qualities. Focusing primarily on style over substance.
Quoting the first few words of this week's Torah portion, VeAtah tetzavah es Bai Yisrael, "And you shall command the children of Israel", the Lubavitcher Rebbe reveals perhaps the most genuine and accurate description of the function of a leader.
He explains that God is telling Moses, that his role as the leader of the Jewish people is to help them reconnect with G-d. And that this can only be achieved by helping them reconnect with themselves.
A true leader is a person in whom the people believe, because he believes in them.
A true leader believes in his people, thereby helping them to believe in themselves.
A true leader helps his people discover their core identity, thereby revealing and unlocking their true potential and unique and vital role in the fulfilment of their purpose for which they were created.
A true Jewish leader would help the Jewish people rediscover our true identities, as individuals and as a people, and our deserved place and role in history.
Not to be content only with surviving, but to live fully and to flourish by realising our true potential as a people.
Yes the Jewish people certainly need the strength and power to protect itself. However we must always remember that our true purpose as a people to influence the world.
Not to just sit at the table of nations, but to take our true place among the nations of the world, as a brilliant light onto the nations. A light which today the world so desperately needs.