By Debbie Danon
I can trace the origins of my leadership coaching and consulting career directly to being a teenager leading a Jewish youth group. The lessons I learned becoming a role model for younger people, creating worlds out of paper, markers, tape and Maltesers (in the days before social media), and taking responsibility when I messed up are still with me to this day. So I was delighted to be interviewed last week by Rabbi Richard Jacobi for the ‘Progressively Jewish’ podcast, alongside my old friend and now Rabbi, Daniel Lichman.
You can listen to the podcast here.
I was in the conversation with both my professional and voluntary hats on - as Debbie the Coach, and Debbie the Vice-Chair of an innovative new Jewish community called Makor Hayim. Truthfully, being a communal leader is one of the most stretching things I have ever done. It requires me to put all my resources to the test - communication, discernment, decisiveness, and a whole lot of patience. There are tensions and conflicts to mediate. Lessons in humility and making amends abound. And yet, the vision of cultivating a community and a world that is more inclusive, just and compassionate, compels me deeply. As do the relationships with my fellow Builders (what we call our members) whose commitment astounds me again and again.
Although the podcast references Jewish life and communal leadership (yes, with a few Hebrew / jargony words), the conversation unfolded as a wider exploration of what it means to be an empowering leader who is serving a higher purpose…
…how we might balance the motivations of ego and service in a leadership role.
…how we might maximise the strengths and gifts of those around us as leaders.
…how to sustain ourselves as leaders when times are tough.
Have a listen, and we'd love to hear what you think.