"A leader articulates a clear vision and set of principles, which become a well-lighted path that well-intentioned people can tread.
A leader takes some share of responsibility.
A leader attracts top talent.
A leader knows whose counsel to seek and whose to be wary of.
...a leader should...challenge himself -- and the rest of us -- to be bigger."JFNA is now on the cusp of leadership change. The seminal question is whether the organization's Nominating Committee now and Search Committee in the near-term future (please G-d) will ask the right questions, make the right demands so that the next organizational leaders will be those JFNA needs so desperately.
There is a tendency in failing organizations for its leaders to look around, sing Kumbaya, and assume: "inasmuch as we are the leaders, everything must be OK." This has clearly been the case at JFNA for a decade and more. True, Kathy Manning may have been "well-intentioned" when she "articulate(d) a clear vision" but the Global Planning Table wasn't just one devoid of principles, it proved to be incoherent and turned JFNA away from its purpose to drive the system up the road of collective responsibility. Since then, her successors have either thrown on the table beautiful pipe dreams not thought through like Siegal's "free" Jewish education or Sandler's NextGen thing -- both wonderful ideas for sure. (At some point both of the Chairs must have come to realize that the CEO was unable to execute these dreams -- or maybe they didn't/don't to this day -- yet, I see the imprint of both Siegal and Sandler on Silverman's "retirement." So, there's that.)
Frank Bruni offered some excellent guideposts for "leadership." Ya' think anyone at JFNA might follow them? Please?