Followers Produce the Best Leaders
It’s interesting to note that when Pharaoh tells Moshe to no longer see him, Moshe doesn’t try to change his mind, influence his decision or push him towards a different outcome. But why doesn’t he? Pharaoh, the main source of resistance from the Jews leaving Egypt certainly should have been someone who could and should have been influenced. So why wasn’t he?
Yet this isn’t who Moshe was and that wasn’t what made him into the person who he was and that isn’t what leadership is. Leadership is as much as following instructions as it is about leading.
As the official leader of the Jewish people, Moshe’s job was to listen to the instructions of Hashem. At that particular moment in time, Hashem told Moshe to warn Pharaoh about the upcoming plague of death and that’s all. There was no instruction to change his mind, push him in one direction or another or anything else. Moshe followed the instructions of Hashem to the letter and had no reason to interject with the personal.
Too often, leaders get elected and once elected and then decide to forge their own path, thinking that this is what the people want from them. But, as we know though life as well as through history, that is not the case. People want to be listened to, and we all know that leaders who forge their independent path are overwhelmingly rejected by the population.
We all have personal biases and personal opinions. Yet if we let these overtake our fundamental, we lose sight of the basics of why we are there in the first place, and, as we see in the upcoming Parshiot, that when people challenge Moshe with the personal, it leads to an unfortunate conclusion.
Let us be successful leaders by being listeners to our family, friends and community, to build the beautiful Jewish nation together as one.