Friday, March 2, 2012

Good oil is hard to find

Leadership knows how to wring every last drop of effort out of their followers.

In this week's Parsha of Tetzaveh God asks the now desert nomadic Jewish people to do something nearly impossible from the first sentence (Exodus 27:20):

And you shall command the children of Israel, and they shall take to you pure olive oil, crushed for lighting, to kindle the lamps continually.
Really!? PURE olive oil!? They are in the desert you remember. So olives just grow wild in the desert and they could make pure oil because they had nothing else to do at the time. And it would be used for lighting right? And do you not think they knew this already and had been doing it so they had light at night?

The fact is leadership, no matter if you say it was God or Moses, asked for it and they did it. No questions asked, just did it. Speaking of Moses, he is not, repeat not found in this parsha at all by name. That is even greater leadership, people follow you without your name even being used. We should all be that gifted when we are leading our companies. Then again we are not God.

Think about this too, maybe they needed the olives as food in the desert? They already had the Manna so any other food was excess and thus available for alternative uses.

But the bottom line is these lucky olives were going to be used for the Cohen or priestly workings. The people gave them up willingly because they didn't need them to eat, although they needed them for light.. In contrast most executives rarely ask for what isn't needed and fewer get it from their employees. Instead the carrot and stick routine work for them. That attitude doesn't work today any more than it worked 1,000's of years ago.

If you know you need better sales from your team, you can wring out the olive oil the hard way or ask people to give up some time to learn something new or get some training or help others so together 1+1=3. They need the time, no question, but they really need the sales and thus more commissions and this little sacrifice, for the right leadership, is possible.

Purim is next week on Wen and Thurs, Chag Smaeach.

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Parsha Tetzaveh in the book of Shemot Exodus 27:20 - 30:10

It is said that the Torah or Bible could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom