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Bamidbar(Numbers 1:1-4:20)

A Leader With a Cause

While the Jewish people were in the desert, God counted them several times. At one point when God wanted to take a census, he told Moses to first take a representative from each tribe. God said to Moses:

"And with you shall be one man from each tribe; a man who is a leader..." (Numbers 1:4)


Every tribe had only one leader. While there were certainly many people qualified to "manage" others, there was just one leader amongst the entire group. What is the difference between someone who's capable of managing others as opposed to one who can lead them?

The first thing to understand is the reason a leader is such a rare breed is that it's never a unilateral decision to become a leader. A leader requires the consent of those he wants to lead. A leader is only a leader if others choose to follow. If they don't want to follow - or do so against their will - then these people are merely being managed and not being led.

This distinction, once understood, can have a very positive impact on your day-to-day life. We all in some way want to make a difference and change the world. To think that this is something that can be done independently of others is foolish. To achieve true and lasting change will always requires the consent, will, and desire of others to follow a leader to accomplish a larger mission.

The key to getting others to follow you enthusiastically is to first get them committed to your project or idea. (And remember, before you can get others to believe in anything you have to first believe in it yourself.) Once you have a cause to which you're totally and completely committed, you will naturally radiate enormous enthusiasm. And your ceaseless energy, coupled with a clear plan for success, will attract flocks of followers to your cause.

The last key to your success will be never to forget to keep the mission as your primary and sole objective - and never make it about your own ego or personal spotlight. If you can do this, you'll continue to have countless people believing and joining your efforts with a legitimate chance of leading them all to the Promised Land.

May 23, 2006

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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) Anonymous, May 21, 2015 12:53 PM

Really great one! I'll be thinking about this and utilizing it. Thanks for posting!

(3) jay, May 27, 2012 5:39 AM

Good Bad Ugly

The commentary assumes the Leader has positive goals but the definition applies equally to tyrants

(2) suzzanne nemick, May 25, 2011 2:26 AM

how can one be a leader .....or a manager? That is the question. .......I think.

I think I am a manager.

(1) David, May 26, 2008 10:12 AM

Well thought out

I agree that being a leader is necessary to achieve your goals. You have to lead yourself by focusing on the right things. But for the big things in life, like Jewish unity how true it is that you have to keep your eye on the big picture and not how much attention you will be getting as a result of your efforts. Great points to keep in mind, thank you.


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