Thursday, October 10, 2013

Andy the Rabbi?

By Pascal Dennis

My friend Mel is a real estate entrepreneur, and part-time Talmudic scholar.

We belong to the same gym & regularly kibitz about all & sundry.

Mel has read my books, and shared samples of his passion: the wonderful old Hassidic tales.

After reading Andy & Me and The Remedy, Mel had a revelation.

"Andy is a rabbi!"

"I beg your pardon?" I replied.

"Andy is a rabbi," Mel continued, "like in the old Jewish stories!"

On reflection, Mel is right.

Sensei-deshi stories are as old as humanity: the old Sufi stories, Krishna & Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, Virgil & Dante in the Divine Comedy, several Brothers Grimm stories.

Central to each is a dialogue between a seeker, and an elder. Often, both the seeker and elder are damaged. Both grow because of the relationship.

We're hard-wired for stories, and this is one of the oldest.

Maybe that's why I found the Andy & Tom story so easy to tell.

It certainly explains why mentorship is so central to the Toyota Production System.

To 'walk the thousand mile path', you need a guide.

And mentorship feels good for both sensei and deshi, because that's how we're wired.

Thanks, Mel.



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