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Leadership By Design

Leadership By Design: SINAI Director Jordan Silvestri challenges Yeshivat HaKotel students to reflect on what makes a great leader

By: Jordan Silvestri
Director, SINAI Shalem HS at Heichal HaTorah

As part of SINAI’s year-long Core Leadership program partnership with Yeshivat HaKotel, I was recently privileged to present a webinar for the HaKotel students in Israel on leadership. We discussed four key elements of leadership for the students to incorporate into their educational lexicon: Being Personal, Having Self-Awareness, and being Selfless and Compassionate. These elements are some of the key ideas that make up effective leaders, and the leadership core of SINAI Schools. 

Leadership is oftentimes incorrectly correlated to management. Management refers to the idea of directing people in order to accomplish the goals an organization desires to achieve. Leadership is focused on giving back to people in order to establish relationships, loyalty, and meaning. A manager is not always a leader, but in order to be a leader, one must often also be a manager. 

Too often, our personal drive to succeed and grow creates within us the need to become less attached to those who work with us and for us. Instead of developing real connections, getting to know the people that make up one’s team, and contributing to their growth and interests, we delve into an exercise of avoidance and separation. We choose to live in a world of isolation without even a smidge of real connection. 

What we lose in the interim is nothing less than astronomical. Statistics have shown that happiness in the workplace is no more connected to salary and benefits than the chance of winning the lottery is to choosing random numbers. People experience true happiness from the meaning and value that they gain from the work they complete and with people with whom they work. Being personal, developing relationships, striving to be mentally and physically present for those around us, and opening our hearts to those we work with help us find true happiness. 

SINAI’s “Inclusion by Design®” slogan aptly encompasses the essential values of our pedagogical methodology and SINAI’s commitment to schools’ staff and administration. Every person is different, with something unique to add to the conversation, and is deserving of respect and compassion, the essential values of our pedagogical methodology. From top to bottom and all around, our administrators strive to create an environment at SINAI that acts as an incubator for true personal growth. Perhaps our newest slogan should read, “Leadership by Design!”