Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

Archive for November, 2011

If Not Now, When?

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

If Not Now, When?

Hillel, (born

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c.110BCE-10CE in Jerusalem) was a famous religious leader, and one of the most important figures in canadian pharmacy viagra

edia.org/wiki/Jewish_history”>Jewish history. He is associated with the development of the Mishnah, the idea that all peoples can study the bible and learn actively from its tenants, and the Talmud, one of the central texts of mainstream Judaism—a growing body of knowledge that is filled with teaching stories and guidance for right living. Renowned within Judaism as a sage and scholar, he is popularly known for the saying: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

 

I love this saying because in simple language, it teaches us both right living and right leadership. Let’s break it down into its

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component parts.

 

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

If I do not stand up for myself that who am I? If I cannot believe in myself, then what kind of leader can I be? Who will follow me if I will not follow myself? This is one of the primary principles of extraordinary leadership. Great leadership starts (does not end) with self belief. This is not egotistical belief, which is usually twinned with insecurity and self-absorption. It is the notion I matter, I am capable, I am worthy. All great leaders feel that. They don’t demand our attention, they command it. Leadership comes from the depths of their soul from which certainty arises, certainty born from self-solidity.

 

If I am only for myself, what am I?

This is the notion that although I am inner guided, I am outer focused. Great leaders care far more for their purpose—which by definition is always about being of service to something outside oneself—than for themselves and their personal ambitions. Great leaders are servants to a cause.

 

If not now, when?

If it is meant to be it is up to me is a wonderful phrase that captures the spirit of this. It is a saying born out of the sense that I matter, I can take a stand and in so doing, move the world. What are we waiting for? Our waiting does nothing but perpetuate the status quo. We all live a short time on this earth, and now, not tomorrow, is the time to make a difference.

If we all follow Hillel’s guidance, we would all be the better for it.