Unfortunately, at this point, nothing Yehoshua and Calev said was able to reverse the tragic course Bnei Yisrael had chosen. However, Yehoshua’s careful and well-planned approach reflected a strength that would be developed over the next 38 years and would serve him well when he assumed the position of leader. Not only was he able to relate to each person on his or her own level, he was able to choose the right words, tone and logical arguments to win the support of his diverse group of followers. During Yehoshua’s tenure of leadership all the shevatim, despite their differences, combined in a united effort to conquer and settle the land of Israel. They all understood that while they perhaps traveled somewhat different paths—each path led to the Mishkan and service of Hashem.
Leaders must develop the skill to communicate effectively with all their followers. While some messages can be delivered in a single manner with universal appeal, others must be tailored for specific audiences. Like the Coast Guard, leaders should work on their bureaucratic and organizational multilingualism.
Rabbi Dr. David Hertzberg is the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Middle Division. Comments can be emailed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.