Leadership has been on my mind a great deal of late – especially the profound difference that leadership can make for our country, our state, the businesses or organizations we work for and care about, and for our Jewish community.
Leadership that points the way hopefully to a better future, in concert with our values, grounded in optimism, and informed by realism, is leadership of the highest order. It is the kind of leadership Shimon Peres, z”l, showed throughout his remarkable life. There is much that can be learned from the examples that Peres set –the power of humility, the discipline to pursue a cause pragmatically but unwaveringly, and the courage to use moral suasion, gently but firmly, to persuade people to overcome mental barriers and live up to our ideals.
An element of Peres’ leadership was his deep and abiding dedication to the Jewish people, in Israel and around the world. By extending his hand to all, he gained the respect of all – lending strength to his tireless pursuit of peace. It is a lesson that applies to all of us in exercising leadership, however large or small the leadership roles we hold – in our homes, places of work, neighborhoods and community.
Shimon Peres was larger than life, but all of us, no matter how humble our stations, can learn from his example. He made an impact. So can we. In the new year that lies ahead, let us pause every so often in our day-to-day business, and reflect on the good that we can do for the world around us. Shabbat Shalom and L’Shanah Tovah.