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The Leading Edge Blog on Jewish Leadership

The Leading Edge Blog on Jewish Leadership

Spertus President and CEO Dr. Hal M. Lewis

The Leading Edge is a collection of blog posts, essays, and articles from Dr. Hal M. Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership and a recognized expert on Jewish leadership. 

Dysfunctional Discourse and Internecine Invective
The very organizational leaders who seek commonwealth between religious traditions, who extol the benefits of communal harmony, would do well to consider why the same principles of peaceable discourse, respect, and sensitivity are so often missing from our own community conversations. MORE>

Moses on Transition Planning: Good Not Great
The identification, nurturing, and training of organizational talent are key components of a leader’s job. They are not adventitious or incidental. They cannot be back-burnered. MORE>

Trusting Our Leaders
The closer we get to another round in the seemingly never-ending American election cycle, the more it appears that contemporary leaders have something important to learn from Moses Maimonides about the factors that build trust. MORE>

Playing in the Big Leagues
In a recent 60 Minutes segment on the Giving Pledge, Charlie Rose asked the billionaires who had made the commitment to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy whether they ever considered failure in the context of their charitable work. MORE>

Just a Normal Regular Person?
At the height of the antics surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's descent into infamy, he was asked whether he considered his behavior appropriate for the mayor of a major city. Ford responded, "I don't look at myself as the mayor. I look at myself as a normal, regular person." MORE>

Too Powerful to Feel Your Pain?
Recent evidence from the field of neuroscience sheds new light on the Torah's teachings about power and empathy. MORE>

Understanding the Perks of Power
Jewish sources have long understood a basic truth; positions of leadership bring with them an increased risk of abusing power. MORE>

Andy Struggles BackLearning Leadership
at Wimbledon

Three strategies we can learn from tennis champion Andy Murray's rebound (spoiler alert: one is that there's no substitute for hard work). MORE>

Better When We're Together?
Do people need to be together to spark creativity? Dr. Hal M. Lewis weighs in on the decision by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to terminate the company's long-standing policy allowing work from home. MORE>

Dr. Hal M. Lewis has published widely on Jewish leadership in the scholarly and popular press. His books include From Sanctuary to Boardroom: A Jewish Approach to Leadership (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006) and Models and Meanings in the History of Jewish Leadership (Edwin Mellen Press, 2004).

A master educator and passionate advocate for adult learning, he has served on the teaching faculty of the University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois at Chicago, Baltimore Hebrew University, the Wexner Heritage Foundation, and the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, where he served as visiting faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In addition to serving as President and CEO of Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, he holds a Spertus faculty appointment as Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies.

ELI Talks, the "Jewish Ted Talks," explore inspired Jewish ideas about religious engagement (E), Jewish literacy (L), and identity (I). Dr. Hal M. Lewis recently served as an ELI talk speaker. View his presentation, titled
"It Ain't The Heat, It's The Humility"
Jewish Leadership for the 21st Century>

In the Media

I Thought You Said You Wanted To Run Things Like a Business

I continue to be struck by the irony that many of the same individuals who claim to want our communal institutions to “run more like businesses,” ignore the very principles and best practices that would enable us to do exactly that. MORE>

Planning for Success(ion)
Observers of the American Jewish scene cannot help but notice that considerable attention has been devoted recently to the issue of succession planning. Occasioned by the departure of several high profile organizational CEOs... MORE>