Leadership qualities

I’m currently reading an amazing book by Stephen Covey, entitled “The Eighth Habit.” I have found this book, as well as his bestselling “Seven Habits” book to be very insightful and relevant. I am amazed at how much of what he writes is actually based on very lofty concepts taught in sifrei machshava, but the truth is that the sfarim hakedoshim speak of the root of reality, and Covey’s books להבדיל speak accurately of the reality we see, which is a reflection of that root.

I’d like to share a short quote, which speaks of leadership, but applies to each and every one of us. We are all leaders, whether we are aware or not. Some of us are leaders in our families, some of us in the classroom, some at work, and some in the Shul. We are all leaders because every move we make is seen by others, and every interaction we have with another has the ability to empower another human being, or to disempower them ח”ו.

That being the case, we need to understand what true leadership is, and if we listen carefully, we will see it applies to each and every one of us. If we look carefully, we will also see that it something that is completely dependent on our level of pride/humility.

Covey says has the following question and answer (on page 122):

Q: How would you define leadership?

A: Again, leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves. Notice the words worth and potential. People must feel an intrinsic sense of worth – that is, that they have intrinsic value – totally apart from being compared to others, and that they are worthy of unconditional love, regardless of behavior or performance. Then when you communicate their potential and create opportunities to develop and use it, you are building on a solid foundation. To communicate people’s potential and to give them a sense of extrinsic worth is a flawed foundation, and their potential will never be optimized.

Try to give that paragraph another read, and think about how our lives would be different if others would treat us this way. Then realize how we can affect others by living in consonance with this ideal.

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