Elana Sztokman's JewFem blog

Elana Maryles Sztokman, PhD, writer, researcher, educator and activist, writing on issues pertaining to gender and Jewish life in Israel and around the world.

Thoughts on leadership

Recent events in the Likud party exposing layers of corruption and criminal activity have brought up a nagging question for me: Can a person be both a great leader and a great human being?

I used to think of this as the quintessential “Bill Clinton” question – named for the man who managed to do some marvelous things for his country while privately behaving like a pig – although clearly, the issue predates Bill. A quick sampling of twentieth-century leaders includes: John F. Kennedy the forgiven adulterer; Theodore Herzl, the STD-infected, womanizing alcoholic; Sigmund Freud, the delusional, controlling, sex-obsessed misogynist. It’s a typecast, the powerful guy who makes headlines but you wouldn’t want to marry or work for him.

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