Friday, August 2, 2013

False Prophets in Executive Skins

In my day job I have encountered numerous executives, some of which have been examples of great leadership, honesty and integrity and others, not so much.

What usually differentiates the two is something rather simple really, the former are open to ideas, the latter tell you what is going to happen why and how and why, usually followed by "because I said so".

If you think about something from your business, maybe a vendor you use, a car service, an email program or a coffee machine, you see how this can happen.

Do we need a new coffee machine? If so, why and what should it do? Compare this to the other executive that says I hate coffee or I want a Bean3000 machine and nothing else will do. Which do you think is the better way?

As one gets deeper into the business side this rears its ugly head even further. But cheer up as the torah thought of this and elaborates on what to do.

In 13:2-4 the parsha lays out how to know when a false prophet, or a new executive or leader can be found out.

2. If there will arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,   ב. כִּי יָקוּם בְּקִרְבְּךָ נָבִיא אוֹ חֹלֵם חֲלוֹם וְנָתַן אֵלֶיךָ אוֹת אוֹ מוֹפֵת:
3. and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you happens, [and he] says, "Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us worship them,"   ג. וּבָא הָאוֹת וְהַמּוֹפֵת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר נֵלְכָה אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא יְדַעְתָּם וְנָעָבְדֵם:
4. you shall not heed the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream; for the Lord, your God, is testing you, to know whether you really love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.   ד. לֹא תִשְׁמַע אֶל דִּבְרֵי הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא אוֹ אֶל חוֹלֵם הַחֲלוֹם הַהוּא כִּי מְנַסֶּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֶתְכֶם לָדַעַת הֲיִשְׁכֶם אֹהֲבִים אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם:

Naturally you can not just fire your boss, however much you want to do so. But if you are on the look out you can see the signs and know that following them may not be in your best interest.

Politics at work is one thing, but claiming to know the right way forward when no one knows the future is just run on many levels.
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Parsha Re'eh in the book of Devarim, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
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