Introduction To Leadership
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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to talk to the chanichim about their leadership; to show them that it’s coming, right around the corner, and there are a couple of things they should be aware of (making it an introduction to the program).
Cards with traits and questions on them, Self-test (read before shabbat!), story: Castel, a page to give them about further activities this year (optional for introductory purposes)
Everybody stands in a circle and holds hands. The point of the game is to get both of your hands freed – in which case you’re free (win), but if you only get one hand loose you lose, and have to get back in the circle. Everyone loses if everyone together lets go. So how do you do it?!?! Of course, they have to figure it out, and they will, ‘cause that’s the point of the game (don’t help them whatsoever) – they have to, individually, go forward, and join the hands of the people on either side of them together so that they could get free. People will do it until there are tow people left. At that point announce that those two are the real winners, since they were willing to sacrifice themselves to get the others free.
Discussion: don’t get to hung up on the sacrificing part. The point is that someone took leadership when he suggested that strategy and got others to listen to him. People also took leadership when they agreed to help others before themselves.
Self-test: what leadership qualities do you have?
Give them the self-test (see end) and discuss with them either every question or the test as a whole asking them why they answered specific questions as they did. (Analysis is not provided, but just read in advance and you’ll come up with something.) then go on to the main discussion of the peula:
[make sure you make cards with key words mentioned in the outline to let them see it and think, and not have a discussion about things in the air – it’s much easier that way.]
How should a good leader behave? § Responsibly? § With humor? § Seriously? § With caring? § Nicely? § Admirably? § Carefully? § (a combination?) what matters § To a good leader? § The most (not just anything he should care about)? § About a good leader? § The enormous power of Dugma Ishit… What makes a good leader? (forget good vs. bad leader – talk good vs. better leader) § Characteristics (rate?): § Dedicated § Organized § Accepted/good reputation § Funny § Knowledgeable § Knows his audience § Oratory skilled § Knows how to work with kids § Accepts people § (add your own… there are tons more) § Can anyone be a great leader (not limited to specific people)?
How should a good leader behave?
§ With humor?
§ With caring?
§ (a combination?)
§ To a good leader?
§ The most (not just anything he should care about)?
§ About a good leader?
§ The enormous power of Dugma Ishit…
What makes a good leader? (forget good vs. bad leader – talk good vs. better leader)
§ Characteristics (rate?):
§ Accepted/good reputation
§ Knows his audience
§ Oratory skilled
§ Knows how to work with kids
§ Accepts people
§ (add your own… there are tons more)
§ Can anyone be a great leader (not limited to specific people)?
The punch-line… a short story (special for Yom Haatzmaut)
[give them the following guidelines: look out for the heroic leadership in the story. What traits did the commanders show which we discussed? Of course, it’s not an everyday situation, but do you think it was really the right thing to do? With an option to have a discussion or just a short summary at the end.]
The Castel (kus-tel), a hill near Yerushalayim that watches over the main paths and roads, was a major battle area during the Independence War. Numerous times it was taken by the Arabs, then the Israelis, Arabs, and the Israelis again. One of the attempts to conquer the Castel was a specifically horrific one in which our forces had to back away as the Arab forces were approaching from closer than a shooting range towards them.
The Castel was taken over one night by the Israelis from a small Arab force without much fight. After five days of continuous fighting in which Arab forces kept coming and reinforcing while the small Palmach troops were struggling up on the top, the “Chish” (one of the Palmach units) was left stranded on the top, alone, without supplies or reinforcements. The decision was made to recede (back off from the Castel) when after a whole night of fighting, a two hour period devastated the men and put them in danger of as close as 60 meters away from Arab soldiers. The only problem was the continuous Arab fire from all around.
“The soldiers will go, the commanders will cover for them!” the command was given, and not unwillingly the tired and exhausted Chish members started receding down the mountain/hill in an unorganized manner, with the commanders covering for them. 33 soldiers were killed during the tragic battle, and all of the commanders were killed except one who survived the fierce fire. The Arabs gained control of the Castel, but not for long. They were too tired and left only a small force to keep the Castel. That night the Palmach went up again and this time took the Castel form the Arabs, leaving it in Tzahal’s hands for the rest of the War.
Throughout the days, the slogan “the soldiers will go, the commanders will cover for them” became one of the most famous catch-phrases used in special units and operations. It symbolized Tzahal’s undying sense of leadership and morality, and memorialized forever the historic and tragic battle for the Castel.
Self-Test: About Leadership
1) a leader is someone who primarily:
a. inspires others
b. holds a position of authority
c. wields power to get things done
2) which style of leadership appeals to you? Would you rather lead like:
a. a tough, no-nonsense military general who gets things done
b. Mother Teresa, the
c. The best local pastor you’ve ever known
3) what does the word “servant” bring to mind?
a. a maid or a janitor
b. a person who sees you that have everything you need
4) what does the word “leader” bring to mind?
b. a person who listens
c. a person of action, and a title to back it up
5) do you believe
a. actions speak louder than words
b. words can inspire actions
c. great actions are only possible with great power
6) does a good leader
a. define reality as it is
b. define what reality could be
c. trust one’s own version of reality over others’
7) do you believe you are capable of changing the world for the better?
b. I’m not sure I have it in me, but I hope so
c. Probably not
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