OPINION: Supporting the future of our community’s leadership

Leadership doesn’t happen by accident. It isn’t something we should take for granted and it definitely isn’t something we can be sure of when we look to the future of our Jewish community.

National and global events over the last couple of years have led to many challenges and caused unprecedented demands on our community leaders. As we continue to navigate through uncertainty, adjust, or even reset within our community organizations, now is a vital time to build on our strong foundations and invest in leadership development.

We face ongoing challenges. But together we have many opportunities to grow and strengthen our community. Opportunities to build on all we have learned over the last two years.

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Michelle Janes

Leadership development is an investment, not an expense. The time, energy and resource that it takes to develop leaders is something that we need to critically consider as a community over the coming years. We cannot sit idly by and hope that there will be people ready to take on leadership roles to sustain our community in the coming generations.

I would not be where I am today without the many people and organizations who supported, encouraged and invested in me.

As I look around at my colleagues leading community organisations and those who are trustees of our many charities, I know that many of them have also benefitted from this investment.

At Lead we often hear of the impact of investment in leadership. The leaders who talk of feeling and being more confident, more able to take on challenge and bring about change through programs they have been on, mentors they have worked with, relationships and networks they have built. Those who credit the development opportunities they have experienced with the tools to equip them to lead, to rise into new positions and to start new initiatives.

I would not be where I am today without the many people and organizations who supported, encouraged and invested in me.

Those who look back and appreciate that their engagement in the community stems from this leadership support that guided them in how to lead, how to connect, how to work together and create the space they want to inhabit.

What does this investment look like?

There is no fixed formula or recipe and each person will need and want different things at different times but there are key elements that need to be on offer to those taking on leadership roles in our community: support and encouragement through a trusted network that will listen. , feedback, critique and reflect; skills that will enable leaders to vision, plan strategically and have excellent critical oversight of their organizations; and awareness of the vital place of relationship building and an ability to do this effectively.

This combination of a cross communal network, excellent skills and strong relationships is something we focus on at the Jewish Leadership Council through Lead, our Leadership Development Division. Through the Adam Science Leadership Programme for emerging leaders as well as the Dangoor Senior Leadership Programme, we are investing in and supporting the future of our community’s leadership.

Applications are now open for these programs – find out more at www.thejlc.org/leadership.

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