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Leaders need to be teachers, Who knew?

LDI logoThe Regional Leadership tract at LDI 2021 was led by Benny Sommerfeld and Elliott Brown. During our 3 sessions, the underlying theme was ‘Leadership lessons from the Torah’. The third Leadership lecture at LDI 2021 was led by Gary Katz. The title of the lecture was ‘Leaders as Teachers’.

Gary stated that The Highest Form of Leadership is Teaching. He proved this statement with a quote by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z’’l.

“If the supreme challenge of leadership is adaptive – getting people to embrace the need for change – then leading means educating; getting people to think and see in new ways.”

Gary went on to say that all three leadership roles in biblical Israel – king, priest, and prophet – had a teaching dimension. He then quoted Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, who contrasts the Jewish attitude to kings and teachers as leadership types, by saying:

“The Torah places severe limits on the power of Kings, on the other hand its regard for teachers is almost unlimited.”

During the class, the group listed characteristics of good leaders and then of good teachers. We found the lists quite similar, with the differences being teachers tend to expose their knowledge to a larger audience while leaders usually teach more individually.  Also, leaders may use teaching when thinking about succession while teachers generally do not have to concern themselves with it.

I found the class both informative and thought provoking and came away with an aspect of leadership that is vital to the success of the leader.

Matthew Bonus

EVP of the Northern New Jersey Region of FJMC



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