Learning to lead is important, but it may not be what you think it is.
Leadership is not a noun; it is a verb. It is not an identity; it is an action.
Don't try to become a leader, just do it. Just lead.
Serving as a rabbi to my beachfront community in Los Angeles during the 1980s, I saw it as my duty to teach the Torah. (Rabbi, of course, means "teacher" in Hebrew.) Most of the members I served were accomplished professionals in fields as diverse as business, entertainment, and medicine. What possible relevance could a 3,000-year-old document have to their busy and productive lives? I had been taught that the information in this remarkable book was indispensable to happy and successful living. But how would I go about demonstrating that to this impressive group most of whom were far more accomplished than I?
My first step was to show that examining the Torah in its original Hebrew was an incomparably more profound experience than merely reading it in English translation. My next step was to show how even those familiar with the language in which it was written would still require a guide to probe the really useful principles contained in the Torah.
A useful model of this problem was provided by an original German version of the Treatise on Thermodynamics written by the great scientist Max Planck in Berlin during 1897. One fine California evening, I held the weighty Treatise aloft and explained to my audience that it ...