This past weekend was a very proud one for me and Debra as parents. Our daughter, Rachel Leah Hurt, became a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday. Her Torah portion, Parshat Beshalach (Song of the Sea), was an especially challenging one and she read it just perfectly. This took her hundreds of hours of study in 2017 (and she had an amazing teacher in Nancyellen Seiden). Alongside this study, she also wrote her first book, Guardians of the Forest, which also took hundreds of hours in 2017. It is a truly beautiful book for children ages 6-14 and I know she would appreciate it if you bought a copy at that link. And, during all of this, Rachel made all top grades at her middle school (including in all of the AP classes that she can take). I truly consider my most important job in life to be a good parent. I have had many influences in this regard, including my own parents (Lucky7 is named in tribute to my mom), Debra's parents, and even my friend Michael Dell, who has had a hugely positive influence on his children, including the one I know best, Zachary (watch him become an extraordinary entrepreneur one day). I'll write a blog post on parenting one day, but I certainly don't want you to think I've got it all figured out. In many ways, to be a good parent is more challenging than starting a company and I'm certainly trying my best. It requires constant work (and innovation), but I digress.
I woke up this early this morning, around 4:40am, thinking about this past weekend. There were some good leadership lessons in this Torah portion, especially the one given by Nachshon ben Aminadav. Nachshon is certainly a lesser known figure in the Parting of the Red Sea, especially as compared to Moses. To that end, I would love to share with you a portion of Rachel's speech, given by her after she read from the Torah. And I would love to hear your stories of where either you've been a Nachshon or you've seen someone close to you be a Nachshon. We all know the stories of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, MLK Jr., and many other incredible leaders throughout history. But who are the lesser known figures that took the first actions to show the rest? Please share those much lesser known stories with me (and all of the Lucky7 readers) in your comments below - it would be a lot of fun to get a dialogue going about this.