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The Rabbi, Jesus, and Le Rat: The Solution To A Key Leadership Dilemma

Having good judgment is impossible to teach. So I thought, until I heard this story. I was at the Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of close Jewish friends. The Rabbi told a story about Jesus. “Eureka!” I yelled in my head. “That’s the answer to learning the hardest skill emerging leaders have to master.” It’s so simple, yet so powerful. Here it is.

The biggest barrier to would-be leaders achieving their goals is perceived lack of sound judgment.

We are given leadership positions because our bosses trust our judgment … that at key moments of truth, we will make the right call. This skill comes naturally to some, and often evolves with experience.

Now- I have never known how to best coach emerging leaders on how to develop judgment. Until I heard this story. Here it is, as told by the Rabbi.

The key to leadership – not to be found in management books

It’s only now- decades later- that I realise my father had mastered the most powerful habit an effective leader can have. No management book I’ve read contains this insight. I share it now hoping it is as immensely valuable to you as it has been, and is, to me.

First, a story. I was writing Wrestling Possums posts on a flight to Shanghai recently. I put on the headphones, started listening to Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, and thought of my Dad. It was his favourite piece.

My memory of him, while blurred, is underpinned by a warm feeling. I remember Dad ‘being around’ when I was growing up.

Most important, of being there when I needed him most. This is how he did it, and here’s how you can bring this critical habit to play in leading teams and clients.