צור קשר

בית סילבר, אבא הלל 7, קומה 15, רמת גן

03-5762656

03-6430986

Contact Us

Beit Silver, Aba Hillel 7, Ramat Gan

03-5762656

03-6430986

Our Story

The Art of Human Diamonds Polishing

When asked “What do you do at LEAD?” we answer “We polish diamonds.” Diamonds are rare, unique and expensive – but that’s not what concerns us. We’re interested in what’s hidden inside. We at LEAD know how to identify “diamonds in the rough”, how to work with them, and how to polish them so that their full potential becomes visible to all. When we established LEAD back in 1999, it was important for us not to make the same mistakes as others. After researching and studying countless leadership development programs in Israel and elsewhere, we discovered something amazing – most of these programs don’t achieve their goals. In other words, they fail. We searched for reasons why, and we found them. But to understand those reasons, we ask that you first join us on a short journey back in time in which we would like to address two of the leading paradigms in Education.

Two leading paradigms in Education

The first stop starts about 2,000 years ago. Over the last two millennia, the leading educational paradigm was the character development paradigm. Underlying this paradigm was the perception that the best way to prepare the younger generation for future challenges was to develop the right character. What was the desired character? The answers to this question were varied from society to society and from culture to culture. In Sparta, for example, they believed that strengthening one’s character came from strengthening one’s body. In Athens they believed in developing one’s dialogic and verbal skills and philosophical thinking. In private schools throughout Europe, youth were taught Latin and fencing long after there was any practical use for neither of them. Why? Because “Noblesse oblige”! (Nobility requires!)
But character development processes require a lot of time. Somehow, at the end of the 19th century, somewhere between the industrial revolution and the rise of western hegemony we all lost our patience. Since then, most people have lost their patience for long-lasting processes. Who has time or patience to develop character over years? And so, in a relatively short time, the character development paradigm was neglected and replaced by a new paradigm: The competence development paradigm.
According to the competence development paradigm, if there’s still a problem we haven’t yet solved, it’s only because we haven’t read the right book, found the right guru, or participated in the right workshop. All answers can be found around the corner at the nearest bookstore. Pay $19.99, read the book, and find all the answers you need. From that moment we all went on a wild chase for easy answers and short term solutions. Yet most of us return home at the end of the day with only partial answers if at all, and with less money in our pockets.
We believe that today more and more people feel that something is missing in the picture. And that’s what we felt almost two decades ago when we were just starting out.
And so we naturally went back to the character development paradigm. But wait! things have changed! Today it doesn’t work for the older generation to decide for the younger generation what’s the "correct character” to be developed. Today, youth and young adults have the freedom to choose. They have the ability to acquire knowledge by themselves. They have at their fingertips the Internet, Google and Wikipedia.
If so, what is the new role of an educator in the information age? In LEAD we believe that our role is not to teach or impart knowledge. Rather, educators should expose youth to the surrounding “ocean of information,” accompany and guide them in their search for knowledge, and let them choose for themselves what’s right and what's wrong for them.
And this is how a new paradigm was born – The leadership identity development paradigm!

The Leadership Identity Development

That’s what we do in LEAD. We’ve developed a very special process whose purpose is to help youth choose and adopt for themselves their own leadership identity. Namely, to choose to live their lives as leaders and influencers, and not as passive followers.
In our eyes, a leader is a person who chooses to perform acts of leadership. In this definition, there are two significant elements:

  • CHOICE
    The key differentiator between “leadership” and “management” or “commandership” is the element of choice. Management is a position or function. When someone is appointed a manager, he/she becomes a manager right away, but not a leader. That’s an altogether different story that begins with the choice to be a leader. All leadership begins with a choice, with a declaration of “I want, and I’m ready, to become a leader.”
  • ACTS OF LEADERSHIP
    What is a shoemaker? One who makes shoes. What is a carpenter? One who makes furniture. What is a leader? One who often performs acts of leadership. An “act of leadership” in our eyes is an act that has a positive impact on the greater good. To date, LEAD participants and alumni have established more than 300 social action projects, many of which are ongoing and comprehensive. Directly impacting tens of thousands of Israelis, these projects involved the raising of millions of Shekels and the active participation of thousands of volunteers.

We are not talking about a simple or trivial process. Rather, this is a complex process incorporating three “floors” that are built one upon the other:

  • FIRST FLOOR: EXAMINING
    First, one must get a full understanding of real meaning of being a leader including the costs and the benefits it might require and the challenges which might be involved.
  • SECOND FLOOR: CHOOSING
    After understanding how difficult and complicated it is, one must choose.Do I really want this – yes or no?
  • THIRD FLOOR: BUILDING CAPACITIES
    This involves the building of capabilities by way of acquiring skills and tools, and developing a “can do” attitude.

Unfortunately enough, most leadership development programs start straightaway on the third floor. This is the reason that they don’t succeed. If you don’t start with the person’s “operating system” and enable her or him to develop their own leadership identity, then it simply doesn’t work over time!

Excelling in Excellence

Are you familiar with the school's basketball star? The tall one with tons of talent and motivation? The one who led his/her team to the regional finals? Apparently that’s as far as he/she go. But what if she went to the prestigious national basketball academy?
More than once we’ve been asked “Why is LEAD needed? Isn't it more than likely that those youth selected for LEAD will succeed without LEAD? Our answer is that leadership, like all other talents, is a question of potential. If during the formative period there is no one to help young talents reach their full potential, the end result is liable to be mediocre. So in our eyes LEAD is similar to a sports academy.
Every so often exceptional basketball players emerge at high schools, and they very quickly become stars on the school team. But these players can’t maximize their outstanding potential on the school team simply because the rest of the players are mediocre. Often representatives of a well-known sports academy come to the talented players and tell them “Come play for us. Perhaps you won’t be as big of a star as you were on your school team, but you’ll train with other players on your level, benefit from a proven training program, and play under the best coaches. That’s how you’ll improve and go far.”
This is exactly what we do at LEAD with talented young people shown to have exceptional leadership potential. We bring them together with other young talents and train them in such a way so that they support and challenge each other. In this way we enable them to maximize their potential – for their own good and for the common good of Israeli society.

We’re still to be considered as a promising Startup

The State of Israel has often been called “the startup nation.” The truth is that LEAD, despite approaching 20 years of existence, is still a promising startup. At present, more than half of our alumni are still in the stages of gap-year volunteer service, military service, or academic studies. Among our graduates who are a bit older and are “starting to deliver the goods,” we’ve found two positive common denominators (in addition to the sparkle in their eyes):

  • They are natural entrepreneurs. Most of them demonstrate a significant amount of entrepreneurship (sometimes groundbreaking) in their activities.
  • They are finding unique ways of combining their personal desires with the greater good.

We are not talking about a simple or trivial process. Rather, this is a complex process incorporating three “floors” that are built one upon the other:

  • At age 16, Ami Daniel, together with two other friends from LEAD raised $430,000 and established a community center in a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood in his home town, Haifa. Today, he is the founder and CEO of an Israel startup called "Windward" which has developed an innovative technology for tracking the movement of all maritime traffic around the world via satellites. This technology has both military and commercial applications, and, as it turns out, ecological applications as well. In fact, The National Geographic, for example, has claimed that the developed technology might become the ultimate solution for the problem of illegal fishing worldwide!
  • At the age of 16, Roi Tzikorel and Michael Shurp established a daycare center for school-aged children from families with low socio-economic status. Today Roi and Michael are considered among the top educational technology entrepreneurs in Israel. In 2015, Wired magazine named one of their initiatives as one of the 15 most promising educational technology startups in the world.
  • At the age of 16, Adi Altschuler founded "Krembo Wings", an inclusive youth movement for kids with and without disabilities. Today, after leading Google’s educational activities for a number of years in Israel and five European countries, she is establishing an amazing new venture – an international network of schools in which “regular” children study alongside children with special needs. In 2015 the Time magazine named Adi as one of six world leaders of tomorrow.

But Ami, Roi, Michael and Adi aren’t alone. They are part of a growing network of over 750 young, principled and committed leaders that make up the community of LEAD alumni. Within this dynamic community, alumni discuss, share, consult about, initiate and advance leadership activities. From our perspective, this community is our most important asset. Why? Because we don’t believe that one person can save us all. We are trying to develop “Ben-Gurion 2.0" (David Ben-Gurion was one of the founding fathers of the State of Israel and its first Prime minister) However, “Ben-Gurion 2.0” is not a person, but rather a network!
A few years ago we launched an innovative and groundbreaking initiative for our alumni – LEAD Experiential Alumni Program (LEAP). The program accompanies our graduates from the moment they finish our core high-school program at the age of 18 up until the age of 35. We are continuing to develop and refine the program to meet the evolving needs of our alumni.

Our Leadership Development Programs

Our Core Leadership Development Program (Ages 16-18)

LEAD strategy focuses on the young generation, aiming to create a highly qualified and motivated cadre of young people, which will perceive themselves as future leaders in the Israeli society and who will be ready to take upon themselves the great challenges Israel has to cope with. LEAD puts considerable effort in locating and identifying young people with high leadership potential from all social segments and geographical areas of Israel. In order to develop these young people to their full potential and to empower their self-efficacy, LEAD has formed a unique comprehensive, in-depth program of leadership development among youngsters in the age 16-18.
LEAD's core leadership development program lasts two years and combines developing of "Leadership Identity" with acquiring cutting edge leadership tools, while raising social awareness and while demanding very high moral standards.

As opposed to "just" developing leadership skills, we believe that the first stage for emerging leader is the internalization of "Leadership self Identity". In order to develop such identity one must understand the potential leadership carries with it, the demands and the the benefits of becoming a leader, and then to actively choose to become one. Only then he or she can start an effective skills’ building process.

Our Program

More than 5000 candidates apply to the program each year. After an 8 months selection process only 120 of them are selected to join our core leadership development program.
LEAD’s Leadership Development Program is based on 3 main courses of action:

  • LEADERSHIP WORKSHOPS
    During the two years of the program, our ambassadors (as we refer to our trainees) experience 7 different 2-3 days workshops in which they all meet and work together in mixed teams. Among those workshops we might mention: Teamwork, Creative thinking, Decision Making, Leading Change and Bottom line leadership.
  • INTENSIVE TRAINING IN REGIONAL TEAMS
    All along those 2 years our ambassadors meet twice a month for 3 hours meetings in regional teams. Each team is being facilitated by a very well trained leadership development facilitator. The regional teams' meetings are usually divided into two main parts. On the first part the ambassadors acquire useful 'state of the art' tools regarding Conflicts resolution, Projects planning and Projects management, Social needs analysis, etc. On the second part of the meeting, the participants work as a social entrepreneurs' forum in which they are helping their colleagues in promoting their initiatives and community an social change projects.
  • PRACTICUM – INITIATE AND LEAD A SOCIAL CHANGE PROJECT
    In between those regional teams' meetings, each and every ambassadors is being expected to promote his/her project on the practical level: Writing their working plans, Meeting relevant officials, raising necessary allocations, recruiting volunteers and so on and so forth. During these two weeks between the teams' meetings the team members daily interact and support each other using various web based tools.

Upon completion of the basic core training program, graduates are invited to join the organization's advanced training program which accompanies their development as leaders throughout their adult life.

Other LEAD Programs

Leadership Development in a Retinal World

Today LEAD escorts talented young people aged 16-35, helping them realize their potential in ways that will benefit not only themselves but also Israeli society. Given that the world’s fast-paced changes are also affecting young people, we must always be engaged in ongoing improvement processes and continuous adaptation of our activities to meet youth’s changing needs.
In parallel to programs for our LEAD participants and alumni [not in Hebrew], we are now formulating leadership development programs for a “networked world.” These programs will focus on young people with leadership potential aged 21-35 who we somehow missed, or they missed us, when they were 16.
Our goal would be to develop new comprehensive models which will enable us to identify and support talented young people who are about to change the world. Those new genuine models will be adjusted to the specific characteristics of leadership in the "Retinal World".

'Lions Heads' – Leadership Education in secondary schools

Today it has become much clearer to us that even if we succeed in developing a cadre of wonderful leaders, it won’t work if we also don’t impact the general public. Thus, we need to help people distinguish between truly committed leaders interested in the greater good, and other “leaders” who are less value-driven and less committed to improving society. If not, people will continue to select and vote for charismatic “leaders”, who make empty promises and don’t bother to present clear platforms and/or to stand behind them.
In order to reach those long term goals we have launched a new leadership education (vs. leadership development) program for Junior high schools named 'Lions Heads'. In this 3 years program our professionals will train school teachers to become 'Champions of Leadership' in their schools who will be able to facilitate various unique leadership training activities in their classes.

Come and LEAD With Us

Without the support of good people and organizations that identify with our goals and believe in our ideas and actions, we won’t be able to continue and do all that we need to do to succeed.
Do you want to join us? Would you like to take part in this essential effort? Would you like be part of our dream?