Planning for Success(ion)

The time has come to abandon the insulting notion that programs of Jewish literacy, however excellent, are in and of themselves, leadership programs. Similarly, American Jewish groups must cease the dysfunctional practice of parachuting people into positions of communal responsibility just because they have been successful in business.

by Dr. Hal M. Lewis

Thoughtful observers of the American Jewish scene cannot help but notice that over the past year considerable attention has been devoted in the Jewish media to the issue of succession planning in organizational life. Occasioned most immediately by the sudden departure of several high profile organizational CEOs, and fueled further by what some see as an increasing tendency to replace long serving executives with individual from outside the communal world, an electronic firestorm has erupted in the Jewish press.

Concern is hardly unwarranted. As far back as 2006 surveys have documented a looming crisis. A CompassPoint analysis in that year found that of 1900 nonprofit leaders, 75% planned to leave their job by 2011 (“Daring to Lead,” CompassPoint 2006). Even more dramatically, a study conducted for the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies in 2009 predicted that, “within the next five to ten years, the baby boomers will retire and leave upwards of 75-90% of Jewish community agencies with the challenge of finding new executive leadership” (Austin and Salkowitz, “Executive Development & Succession Planning,” 2009).

The latest research from the Jewish Federations of North America corroborates these trends. JFNA indicates that during just the last 24 months, the rate of change at the CEO level in Jewish federations is approximately 27%, with many additional federations having initiated searches just since the start of the current fiscal year. At the large and large intermediate federations, the rate of change in CEO positions is fifty percent within the past three years.

Beyond the statistics, what is known for certain is that the organized Jewish community from synagogues to federations, from social service agencies to arts organizations is woefully unprepared to deal wit the coming realities. Six years ago, a DRG survey of nonprofit executives found that 58% of respondents indicated that neither the management team nor the board had ever discussed transition strategy (“Nonprofit CEO Survey,” 2006). And the situation has only gotten worse.

In his 2012 study of 440 Jewish organizational CEOs, Dr. Steven Noble identified two overarching themes that unfortunately seem to characterize most Jewish groups (“Effective CEO Transitioning…,” 2012).

  • The vast majority of Jewish nonprofits (81%) do not have an emergency back up plan designed to address the unforeseen departure of a CEO (such as has been evidenced in recent months).
  • An even larger percentage (91%) of those responding said that their organizations have no formalized succession plans.

The Jewish community’s failure to respond to these issues is not only bad business; it is antithetical to the best in Jewish wisdom and tradition. Woven throughout classical Jewish teachings and embodied in the example set by the quintessential Jewish leader, Moses, is a recognition of the fact that succession planning is the duty and obligation of all who claim to wear the mantle of leadership.

On the very day that Moses learns he will not live long enough to fulfill his life’s work and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, he demanded of God that a successor be named. “Let the Lord, Source of the breath of all flesh, appoint someone over the community who shall go out before them and come in before them… so that the Lord’s community may not be like sheep that have no shepherd” (Numbers 27:15-17).

Here, Moses sets the standard for all those involved in Jewish communal life. Disappointed and scared as he surely must have been, Moses remained focused on the ultimate objective, getting the Israelites safely to the Land of Israel. To assure the continuity of the Jewish people, someone else would need to take over, and Moses understood that his job would not be complete unless and until he facilitated that transition. In the end, his own personal quest, however lofty or honorable, paled in comparison to the long term viability of the nation of’ Israel.

As if channeling Moses, leadership experts Jay Conger and David Nadler offer a strikingly similar assessment. “A truly successful legacy,” they counsel outgoing CEOs, “is one in which … successors flourish and company performance continues to be excellent” (“When CEOs Step Up To Fail,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Spring 2004).

Similarly, former Procter and Gamble CEO, A.G. Lafley reminds executives, “It’s not about you, the incumbent CEO. It’s about the institution and its future” (“The Art and Science of Finding the Right CEO,” Harvard Business Review, October 2011). Often times, taught Moses, the boldest act of effective leadership is preparing to pass the torch to the next generation.”

But long before a smooth transfer of power is possible, leaders must acknowledge one of the deep dark secrets of succession planning – the brutal fact, as Jim Collins calls it, that planning for succession is often painful and much easier said than done. The truth is that, for some, succession planning is an admission of mortality. For others, not withstanding the more than occasional headaches, power is alluring and tough to abandon. Leaders derive an enormous amount of tangible and psychic rewards from their work. The perks of power seem to conspire against the creation of a thoughtful approach to transitioning and succession planning. As the midrash states, “It is easy to go up to a dais difficult to come down” (Yalkut Va’etchanan 845). Having savored the limelight, long serving leaders are often reticent to make room for others, convincing themselves of their own irreplaceability. “All my life,” admitted Rabbi Joshua ben Quivsay in the Palestinian Talmud, “I would run away from office. Now that I have entered it, whoever comes to oust me I will come down upon him with this kettle [of boiling water]” (Palestinian Talmud Pesachim 6:1).

Further underscoring this point, the rabbis noted that even Moses had difficulty forsaking the mantle of leadership. In a remarkably insightful text, they suggested that despite his commitment to succession, when he realized he would no longer be in charge, Moses began to have second thoughts. “He can be compared,” said the sages, “to a governor who so long as he retained his office could be sure that whatever orders he gave, the king would confirm … But as soon as he retired and  another was appointed in his place, he had in vain to ask the gate keeper to let him enter the palace (Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:5). Painful as it may be to admit, effective succession planning requires a recognition that careers and influence do not last forever.

And it is not just bald-faced ego that makes succession planning a challenge. The pervasiveness of “founders’ syndrome” haunts more than a few Jewish organizations. Long serving individuals, who have devoted incalculable amounts of energy, treasure, and self sacrifice over the years, often cannot face the prospect of handing over the reins. As Steven Noble found in his research on Jewish nonprofit executives, “many seemed to feel entitled to extend their tenures as long as they felt they were contributing.” Large numbers of Jewish organizational CEOs seemed to echo Louis XIV’s infamous pronouncement, “l’etat c’est moi,” manifesting what Noble describes as “a troubling degree of CEO expressed ‘ownership’ of their organizations” and a “high degree of personal possessiveness.”

Precisely because Jewish sources recognize that, in Conger and Nadler’s phrase, “succession is an emotional issue for many … and can lead to a variety of nonproductive behaviors,” the best of Jewish tradition insists that the training and development of the next generation be a preeminent communal priority. Which means that if organizational leaders continue to define succession planning as the singular process of replacing the CEO or even the board chair, they have missed the point. Succession planning is a systemic endeavor. It is an ongoing process that must inform and define the entirety of the enterprise. Key to effective transitioning is a system wide commitment to leadership training and development for both professionals and the laity across the organization.

An analysis conducted by Hewitt Associates called “Top Companies for Leaders,” first published in 2002, uncovered an incontrovertible link between financial success and great leadership training and development. The report notes: “organizations with a ready supply of talent and an ability to cultivate leadership capabilities up and down the ranks are well positioned to withstand turbulence in today’s business world… Said one company executive, “Leadership development is so much a part of our culture that we do not think of it as a discrete activity…” The report went on to find that “Companies such as GE, IBM, or P&G have a long tradition of CEOs and senior leaders spending a disproportionate amount of time on leadership and treating the development of the firm’s highest potential leaders as a personal responsibility” (Gandossy and Verman, “Building Leadership Capability To Drive Change,” Leader and Leader, Winter 2009). This is because, in the words of the great leadership teacher Tom Peters, at their core, “The best leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”

To be sure, Jewish nonprofits characterized by tight budgets, small staffs, and the seemingly ubiquitous tendency that allows the urgent to trump the important, are not Fortune 500 companies. Nonetheless, if the organizational establishment is serious about addressing this crisis, it will begin to rethink its approach to the training and development of lay and professional leaders, without excuses. “Anyone who would exercise authority over a community in Israel,” teaches the Midrash, “without considering how to do so, is sure to fall and take his punishment from the hands of the community” (Song of Songs Rabbah 76:11,1). Or as the great expert on quality control, W. Edwards Deming used to say, “Training … is not mandatory, but neither is survival.”

For too long, and with very few exceptions, the organized Jewish community has made a mockery of leadership training and development, ignoring best practices from industry, the academy, and the best of Jewish tradition. Calling everyone who holds a titled position in the Jewish world a leader – regardless of skillsets or character does not make it so. So too, conflating volunteer orientation and donor education with leadership training only creates false and misleading expectations.

The time has come to abandon the insulting notion that programs of Jewish literacy, however excellent, are in and of themselves, leadership programs. Similarly, American Jewish groups must cease the dysfunctional practice of parachuting people into positions of communal responsibility just because they have been successful in business. Organizations must redefine what they mean by leadership training. It is a mistake to think that half day workshops or weekend retreats or minimum gift missions, “make” leaders. Instead, Jewish groups that are serious abou developing the next generation of leaders must consistently “invest in the best,” providing promising individuals the chance to “practice leadership,” by giving them challenging assignments at every level of the enterprise, beginning early in their tenures.

Leadership development is a protracted, not an episodic process. It cannot be relegated to the nominating committee or ad hoc search committee at the eleventh hour. Only when leadership training becomes an attribute of the system, only when today’s leaders are constantly on the lookout for those who will succeed them, and only when leadership training is declared a priority by the board and the executive, and supported with appropriate resources and systems, will the American Jewish community begin to solve this problem.

Incumbent leaders on both the lay and professional side must come to understand that responsibility for the future is theirs, not after they get finished with everything else, but from day one. North American Jewry has the capacity and the knowledge to fix this. Former GE Chairman Jack Welch said it best, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others” (Winning 2005).

To be sure, executives bear major responsibility. In the words of a 2008 Annie E. Casey Foundation analysis: “Nonprofit executives must be willing and able to let go and allow their organizations to distribute managerial and leadership responsibilities among a number of staff. These executives,” urges the study, “must relinquish an all too common vision of heroic leadership, in which they valiantly and alone confront almost impossible demands on their time, emotions, and energy. Most importantly, they must be truly willing to share authority”(Building Leaderful Organizations, 2008).

But at the same time donors and board members are also accountable. “Choosing the next CEO,” said P&G’s A.G. Lafley, “is the single most important decision a board of directors will make … All companies should have a plan for handling the normal transfer of power as well as for dealing with emergencies…” At the most basic level, cautions the Casey study “succession planning is a sound risk management practice.”

In May of 2007, a Harvard Business Review analysis concluded that, “high performing companies almost never replace their CEOs with outsiders.” This is further corroborated by studies conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, which reveal that a “staggering 66 percent of senior managers hired from the outside usually fail within the first 18 months” (Andre Mamprin, “Five Steps for Successful Succession Planning, Center for Association Leadership, December 2002).

In recent years, and often with considerable controversy, North American Jewry has witnessed a number of important communal positions filled by individuals who come not from within the system, but from outside the Jewish nonprofit sector, most particularly the corporate arena. There may be any number of reasons why this is a positive development, if, for example, it is driven by a desire to challenge the system and as Peter Drucker once said, “to bring the outside in.” But if the reason for going beyond the organizational infrastructure of Jewish communal life is rooted in desperation, because institutions and organizations have failed to identify, nurture and train tomorrow’s leaders, then it is time to do teshuvah. And begin immediately to return to the teachings of Jewish tradition and best practices in order to fix what has been broken.

Dr. Hal M. Lewis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, in Chicago. A recognized expert on Jewish leadership, his books include Models and Meanings in the History of Jewish Leadership and From Sanctuary to Boardroom: A Jewish Approach to Leadership. This article was adapted from his presentation to the 2012 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of’ North America.

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Comments

  1. says

    Congratulations to Hal Lewis for this timely and thoughtful piece. It is important that we continue to consider how we develop the next group of executives for our entire system of organizations and services. We are already experiencing considerable turnover of executives and the impact of the issues the Dr. Lewis has described.

  2. Achnai Tanoor says

    As always, Hal Lewis demonstrates wisdom on leadership issues, citing HBR, Drucker and a bevy of Jewish sources to show he can talk the talk. When it comes to walking the walk within his own organization, however, Lewis once again fails to practice that which he so eloquently preaches. Who is Lewis grooming to grow into new roles over at Spertus? Who is his number 2?

    He would respond that is less relevant than the education and development of several classes of ‘Leaders’ through the institution’s Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies program. A careful examination of that program, however, shows it doesn’t hold a candle to comparable programs in curriculum or caliber and is generally comprised of the Jewish literacy elements Lewis dismisses as insufficient.

    Further, the success of its graduates moving up communal institution ladders has yet to occur, to put it politely. Were that the case, the institution might have hired one of the program’s enrollees to its staff. Perhaps none have met the required standards or perhaps succession and leadership training are not, as Lewis puts it, an attribute of its system. To wit in his years at the helm of Spertus, Lewis himself has failed to select, train or groom a successor as he suggests being so critical to success.

    Talk about developing Jewish leaders can be just that. Promotion of oneself or a program bringing one’s institution prestige is as such. Talk in and of itself can position one as an expert on the subject and even recognition as same. This creates a sense of legitimacy that can be used justify one’s existence to donors or leadership to Board members. It can also be as fleeting as the ‘leadership training’ Lewis derides in this article.

    As head of a college, library, museum and cultural center, Spertus’ Lewis must show he is succeeding in at least one area. Relevance in the latter three have proven problematic for him during his tenure. In part this is due to failing to develop leaders in either area from within at his own organization.

    He publishes editorials like these as window dressing for the college’s only numerically significant body of students in the Jewish arena. If you’re familiar with Spertus’ million dollar glass facade on Michigan Avenue, you’d know this is apt. If Spertus cannot show success with that, Lewis has demonstrated not leadership but what many already know; a succession plan isn’t required nor relevant to run a beautiful but glorified event hall rental facility, caterer and gift shop. For 3 and a half years we’ve heard Dr. Lewis talk. Now maybe its time he just walked.

  3. Betsy Gomberg says

    As a Spertus Institute alum, hired by Spertus and promoted into positions of increasing responsibility, I couldn’t disagree more with the above comment from Achnai Tanoor. I have found excellence and relevance in Spertus’ programs and Dr. Lewis’ leadership. But I’d rather let the success of our students tell the story. Here are several examples of students or alumni who have recently taken on important new roles or demonstrated important achievements. (These are only examples – if other readers would like to add, don’t hesitate.) Stefanie Pervos Bregman (Spertus MAJPS Alum) was promoted to Associate Editor of Chicago’s JUF News and recently published Living Jewishly: A Snapshot of a Generation. Cindy Stern (Spertus MSNM Alum) was brought on as Director of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema. Brad Finkel (Spertus MAJPS Alum) was promoted to Associate Director of Camp Chi. And Mindy Elkove (Spertus MAJPS Alum) received the JCSA Young Professionals’ Award at the GA. In her remarks, this is what she said about the program: “The quality of the courses, caliber of professors and stimulating debate on Jewish values, Israel-Diaspora relations and our roles as Jewish communal professionals expanded my appreciation of the enormity of all we can and must achieve.”

  4. Michael Soberman says

    Dr. Lewis’ piece is both thoughtful and relevant to the community. Having witnessed Dr. Lewis deliver his course on Jewish Leadership as part of the Masters of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies, the course is essential to the program and teaches students the value of Jewish leadership in the field. Dr. Lewis’ expertise in this area is regularly sought out and his book “From Sanctuary to Boardroom: A Jewish Approach to Leadership” is a seminal text for the field of Jewish communal service. The Canadian Jewish Community has recently launched its second cohort of the Masters of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies program with Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies and graduates of the first cohort have assumed important positions in the community as a result of this program. In fact, two graduates of the first cohort have been awarded the JCSA Young Professionals’ Award in two successive years. This achievement speaks to the value of the program and its importance to the field. At a time when investing in the academic growth of professionals in field is so vital, it a shame when some anonymous people rather than lauding these efforts, use this as an opportunity to criticize a program and an individual, both of which continue to make valuable contributions to the field. If anyone interested in talking to graduates and hearing from them the value of the program and the value of Dr. Hal Lewis as a professor, one only needs to ask!

    Michael Soberman
    Director, National Initiatives for the Next Generation
    Jewish Federations of Canada – UIA

  5. says

    As a graduate of the Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies program, I strongly disagree with the comments made by Achnai Tanoor regarding Dr. Hal Lewis and this Master’s program at Spertus. I am extremely proud of the education that I received as a student in this program, and was honored to participate in a cohort with so many outstanding professionals who share my passion for Jewish communal service. In addition to the expertise that I gained from the courses, I value the individual attention and insight that I received from my mentor, Dr. Betsy Dolgin Katz, as well as from Dr. Barry Chazan, director of the program. I have been able to utilize the research and knowledge that I gained through my work on my thesis: “Mission, Vision, and Values in Jewish Institutional Life” in my position as Director of Marketing and Communications at Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago, where I am a member of the leadership team. Furthermore, I have sought out the expertise of Dr. Lewis frequently when I have issues of concern regarding leadership — there is no one that I consider more knowledgeable in this area than Dr. Lewis. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this program, and for the professional relationships and friendships that I have developed with members of the faculty and my cohort.

  6. Ali Drumm says

    Spertus, like many Jewish institutions, may have a lot of work to do. However, the value of the MAJPS program for myself and many of my cohort is intrinsic and immeasurable. I experienced a significant promotion within my institution following the completion of my masters’ degree with Spertus and several of my fellow cohort members have been similarly honored. I agree that the professional relationships and friendships are a treasured part of the continuing experience of having studied at Spertus. I think the program Hal Lewis and Barry Chazan began in 2007 continues to have unbelievable potential to change the nature of Jewish professional life across the country. The MAJPS program is not only comparable, but has significant benefits over other similar and respectable programs of its type at other institutions.

  7. Susan says

    Why is it that people who hide behind aliases tend to be more outspoken than had they revealed their true selves? Because it’s much easier to throw stones at glass institutions when you have a mask on to protect you from the ricochet of flying shards.

    That being said, I am a proud graduate of both Spertus’s Masters progam (MAJPS) as well as its newly created “Certificate in Jewish Leadership” – a joint venture with Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Education. And I can testify to “the success of its graduates moving up communal institution ladders.” Before I got my MAJPS degree I was a Campaign Executive at Jewish National Fund and within a year after that I became the Director of Development at Keshet (the premier provider of services for individuals with intellectual disabilities operating according to traditional Jewish values). After the leadership certificate program, I moved on to become Vice President of Strategic Development within the same organization. In fact, I owe all my professional success at Keshet directly to Spertus – it’s where I first met Abbie Weisberg, CEO/Executive Director of Keshet when she became my mentor through the master programs mentorship program.

    As for Hal Lewis? When and how he decides to proceed with a succession plan is his business and one that I am certain he takes seriously. Hal is a deeply dedicated professional in our community and if he has not made public his intentions then there is probably a good reason for it.

    So next time before you throw stones at million dollar glass facades on Michigan Avenue, it might help you to get your facts straight first. You might actually decide to interview people who have gained so much from the programs and then decide if you really need to be cutting down an institution that gives so much back to the Jewish community in so many ways.

  8. Beth Avner says

    I too was sad to see comments that the “success of [MAJPS] graduates moving up communal institution ladders has yet to occur”. It is simply not true. I am a proud graduate of this program and have used the lessons I learned from Dr. Lewis, and our other professors, as I moved from a regional staff member to the Director of Education and Special Projects for NFTY’s North American Office. I am thankful for the training and mentoring Spertus has provided. The networking and partnership that has come from our cohort has undoubtedly produced many benefits to the Jewish community in the form of new programs, expanded engagement models and a higher level of service we can provide to both the Chicago and national Jewish community.

  9. Fern Katz says

    Michael Soberman is correct. As a graduate of the first MAJPS cohort at Spertus I am happy to talk about the value of the MAJPS program, and the value of Dr. Lewis as a professor. And Achnai Tanoor is incorrect. I can be added to Betsy Gomberg’s list of graduates who have taken on new roles. Not only have I moved up the “communal institutional ladder,” I have done so with the skills and confidence necessary to be successful. I am very proud to be a part of the Jewish professional world and know that I share that sentiment with my classmates. The combination of compelling coursework, excellent professors, and my amazing mentor Jane Shapiro, made for an exciting and thought-provoking journey. The education I was so fortunate to receive at Spertus, and specifically in Dr. Lewis’ Leadership course, has enabled me to not only be a Jewish leader, but to constantly and conscientiously work towards leading Jewishly.

    Fern Katz
    Early Childhood Education Director
    Sinai Preschool, Chicago Sinai Congregation

  10. Sid Singer says

    Dr. Lewis is not one to back away from a good “machloket”; he often exhorts his students that a board room without argument reflects an unhealthy organizational culture where no one challenges assertions. However, the Jewish values Spertus embodies also teach that a machloket should be conducted “l’shem shamayim,” as Pirkei Avot states, in fairness and for noble purposes.

    Like the other MAJPS alumni who have already posted responses, the MAJPS program broadened my professional skills and my understanding of communal work and its historical roots in Judaism (e.g., Dr. Lewis’s teachings about the separation of powers between priests, prophets, and kings). It also gave us the credentials needed to grow our careers. Many of us have in fact advanced professionally since graduating; some have taken on leadership positions or even assumed the helm of organizations. But all of us learned – including from Dr. Lewis – that in order to faithfully serve the community, we must conduct ourselves fairly and honestly, and ground our work in the unique values and ethical standards of Jewish tradition. I suspect that will hold up against any comparable graduate program, Jewish or otherwise.

    In addition to being an engaging and challenging teacher, Dr. Lewis is a straight shooter who is incredibly forthright with his students, and who is not afraid to take a stand or put his name behind his positions, as he does here, modeling how to challenge the system in a healthy and constructive manner. We would do well as a community to practice that part of what he so eloquently preaches.

  11. says

    I agree completely with all the previous critiques of the comments of the pseudonym. Cheap shot to take a swipe at someone in such detail and not be willing to identify yourself. I also don’t need to endorse Dr. Lewis’s original essay as I couldn’t agree more which I reached out and told him as soon as I read it and sent it to my students too. What I would like to add to the mix though is a response to the pseudonym’s point about Spertus’s MA program that a “careful examination of that program, however, shows it doesn’t hold a candle to comparable programs in curriculum or caliber and is generally comprised of the Jewish literacy elements Lewis dismisses as insufficient.”

    I am not only a long-time mentor for that program but coordinate the Pittsburgh cohort of Spertus’s Jewish Professional Studies MA program which is going to graduate a dozen students this spring. That assertion is patently false and misses a critical reality that Spertus, to its credit, has recognized and is addressing unlike any other institution of Jewish Higher Education. That masters program is designed for the working professional who, for whatever reason, did not or cannot take several years of full time study at a coastal city where comparable MAs are given. This MA has been a real benefit to communities like Pittsburgh which is not a destination city for the graduates of those institutions and often has to hire its professionals from other fields. Our dozen students work across the city in communal service and education and are rounding out their skill sets through a grounding in Jewish studies and areas of Non-Profit Management. Many of them have JDs or MBAs or other graduate degrees relevant to the technical work of their jobs but lack the background and training to make them truly qualified Jewish communal professionals for purposes of advancement and communal growth. Our graduates will take the number of Jewish communal professionals in Pittsburgh with advanced Jewish professional degrees (other than clergy) from 3 to 15; That alone will, and already is, changing the culture of our Jewish community and raising the bar of what we can deliver and sustain for our people. They kept working and applying what they learned as they studied, and I know from personal experience with two other “comparable curriculum” institutions that this curriculum holds its own with those as well. I’m a graduate of one of those coastal institutions myself and now adjunct faculty at two of them, and I know that being able to live in major Jewish communities and study for several years full-time for an advanced Jewish degree is a wonderful opportunity. Too few of us have had that opportunity or interest in our early career years though and this program answers the need of how to bring quality graduate Jewish education to the myriad of Jewish communal professionals already working hard in the field. Unless the pseudonym is so self-centered that its only interest is its own back yard, it should be thanking Spertus and Hal Lewis for creating that resource rather than insulting it.

  12. Tom Samuels says

    Institutional Judaism is at a serious cross-road with regards to defining its relevancy to American Jews. Once again, Hal Lewis comes through as a voice of radical honesty that is as critical as it is rare. At the core of his message is a call for leadership steeped in humility, self-reflection, and self-control. I learnt these fundamental leadership lessons as a Spertus’ MAJPS program student, and strive to incorporate them into my everyday life as a Jewish professional.
    Back to the lesson of self-control in response to Achnai Tanoor: a key characteristic of leadership is the willingness to “subsume your desire to shine.” Your screed about Hal Lewis, Spertus and the MAJPS program is just that: an angry screed more reflective of your sense of entitlement rather than even a modicum of adding value to this discourse. I suggest a trick my mother taught me as a child. That is to wait 10 seconds before blurting out the first thought that comes to your mind. If there is no benefit, better to keep it to yourself!