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Utah Top 40: Reflections from Madregot 2018

Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2018 by Natalie Barth

I thought the Wexner Network would enjoy learning some of the themes and takeaways from our recent Wexner Heritage Summer Institute, where NY RSJ 16, NY 16 and Philadelphia 16 transitioned into becoming alumni. We are taking these nuggets with us as we move onward and upward on our Jewish leadership journeys. #THXWEX

1.    Change is the job of a leader.
2.    The destination is always out of our grasp but you can’t desist from going on the journey.
3.    A leader’s job is to bridge the gap between the real and ideal.
4.    Have you ever charted your Jewish leadership journey? Draw the map. Draw your map.
5.    Part of leading is getting lost; can you re-center and navigate?
6.    It took a generation to embrace freedom; don’t always be in a rush.
7.    What are your/your community’s stumbling stones?
8.    It is a leader’s job to help make those comfortable uncomfortable and those uncomfortable comfortable.
9.    What’s your goal? You can’t have too many or you won’t achieve.
10.    Passover vs. High Holiday Paradigm: when trying to engage the next generation (or any generation)—think intimate in-home Passover seder vs. large, sanctuary-oriented High Holiday services.
11.    Play = creative.  Being playful is important.  
12.    Get some grit!
13.    Listen to your kishkes.
14.    You are never alone on the dance floor as a Wexner, but it is your job to get up on the balcony on occasion as a leader.
15.    Consider all the consequences. Be open to all the possibilities.
16.    Being comfortable with uncertainty is a critical aspect of leadership.
17.    Music can bring people closer together.
18.    Staring at the mountains during tefillah is therapeutic.
19.    Passing a Torah and sharing our personal Torah can be as powerful as reading Torah.
20.    Hikes can bond you with those you don’t know well.
21.    Ask questions that encourage thought but don’t prescribe your answer in the question.
22.    Empathy starts with how you listen.
23.    Attention spans are at an all time low—how will you present and interact with your audience/committee/membership that keeps them engaged?
24.    Performance = Potential – Interference.  How will you reduce interference in your life so that you can be more productive?  
25.    Power poses reduce cortisol and increase testosterone.  
26.    Does your audio match your video?
27.    Your presence and body language matter more than you may think.
28.    Mussar is a practice that attempts to better the self through the study of middot/traits.  
29.    Avoid the pressure of perfect.
30.    Choice points are where spiritual growth happens—can you identify choice points in your life/leadership journey?
31.    Teshuvah includes not just an apology but also the ability to move on.
32.    What is your Center? Are you in design of your life?
33.    It is critical to distinguish between the Urgent and the Important. Be sure to make time for the Important.
34.    What are your thin vs. thick identities? Our job as leaders is to be “Jewish thickening agents.”
35.    What are your obligations vs. comfort activities?
36.    How do you avoid leadership fatigue? What can you do to be energized in your leadership?
37.    Create opportunities for civil discourse in your community.
38.    Define shared values and create communication agreements within your leadership group(s).
39.    Do you know what you support #because you are Jewish?
40.    Don’t forget to “Find the Why!”

Wexner Heritage Alum Natalie Barth (NY 16) is the President of the Board of Park Avenue Synagogue and is a member of the Georgetown McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors and Head of School Committee at Horace Mann. She is a former trustee of UJA-Federation of NY and the Children's Museum of the East End. She was Director of Operations and Business Management at Perella Weinberg Partners and a VP in Morgan Stanley’s Capital Introductions Group. She has a BS in Finance and Int'l Business from Georgetown and an MBA from Harvard. Originally from Texas, Ms. Barth resides in New York City with her husband, Brett Barth (Founding Partner of BBR Partners, a private investment management firm), and twin thirteen year-old sons. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys cooking, wine tasting, playing bridge, travelling and watching sporting events.