Judaism teaches mankind a lot of different things about how to go about their lives. Yosef Meystel has written about some of them. For example, we can learn about family and caring for the environment by following the basic principles and writings of Judaism. In that same sense, Judaism can also teach us a thing or two about being a great leader, one that everyone will willingly follow and trust in. Every endeavor in life needs someone at the forefront. Jews have always been known to occupy high positions within society. Whether it be at a Fortune 500 company, at the government level, or in education, Jews have always been well represented. This begs the question, “What makes Jews so fit to lead society?” The answer to this question is simple. Leadership is one of the pillars of the Jewish faith. God was the first leader, taking it upon Himself to create living things. After that, the list of leaders has grown to the point that Judaism and leadership go hand in hand. So, what exactly can we learn about leadership from Judaism? Let’s see.
Never give up
Imagine how different everything would have been had Moses given up on his calling to free the Jews from Egypt’s unfair and cruel slavery. He was determined to get it done. It may have taken several tries but when it is all said and done Moses will be remembered for taking Jews out of Egypt and leading them to the promise land. Moses showed persistence like few had seen before and this is one of the greatest qualities of a leader. Leaders face challenges head on and they find new arguments when they are met with denial. Every time Pharaoh rejected Moses’ plea for liberation, the latter would come up with something new. As leaders, Judaism calls on us to find ways to fight for what we believe in, no matter how long it takes.
Solidarity goes a long way
All the great moments in Jewish history have had two things: a historic figure and a moment where his or her interest had to be put aside for the greater good. Judaism teaches every man to respect others and not look down on them. It invites us rather, to be humble and understand that we are all equal and as such it is important to listen to others and work as a community. It’s no wonder why Jews are considered the most giving people on the planet. In the UK, for example, 90 percent of Jews donate to charity. The Tzedakah, or the Jewish principle of righteousness, makes helping those in need a duty, rather than charity. When Jews make donations they are doing it because they know it is the right thing to do. For leaders, solidarity helps them understand their collaborators and what they need to excel at their jobs.
Learn, learn and learn.
Leaders are always up to date with the latest trends, strategies, and news. They understand the importance of knowledge. Judaism is similar in this sense. Jews are called upon to be continuous in their studies of the Torah and Jewish teachings so that they can be great leaders. Knowledge is power, one that should be used wisely. Adam and Eve didn’t know what to do when the obtain the knowledge of their surroundings and for that, they were banished from the Eden. Moses, on the other hand, took the knowledge he acquired from God to help Jews lead a fair and satisfactory life.
Teach others to lead
Every great Jewish leader has always had a successor worthy of continuing the cause. This is not an accident. Leaders must prepare someone to guide others when they no longer can. Once again, the power of knowledge plays an important role. The exception in this case is that knowledge is not received, but passed down. Jewish leaders have always taken the teachings of their mentors and brought them up to speed with the times. The essence of what is taught will always remain with a leader thanks to all the knowledge which is inherited from previous generations and when time comes, he or she must share information with the next in line. Continuity plays a huge role in having successful leaders, and Judaism teaches us all to not be selfish with knowledge, but rather give it to whom we believe is worthy of it and who will continue the great legacy of Jewish leaders.
Be accountable for your actions
Whenever we listen or read from the Torah, it is clear that there are many examples of figures who were irresponsible in their actions and wanted no part of being blamed. Instead, they would cast the blame towards others. As we all know, it hardly ever worked out well for them. But when certain figures assumed the responsibility of their actions, they found forgiveness and understanding. Judaism teaches leaders to be accountable for what they do and accept the consequences of their actions. Therefore, they become leaders who use words like ethics, responsibility, and honor as something completely serious and not just something to fill a resumé with.
Judaism is not just a religion oriented towards following God’s commandments and teachings. It’s also about using them to be great leaders in society to bring out the most in every person who graces the earth.