Hiking in Israel is a marvelous way to experience the wonder and beauty of the State of Israel.
It is also a lesson in letting go. As the saying goes: If there is a sign “No swimming”, to Israelis that means “Please jump right in.” After a few years of spending a lot of time tooling around, I have come to accept the Israeli culture of no rules apply. But with a family it is nerve-racking.
Today we went on a fantastic hike across several beaches. We started at one official beach and hiked four hours to the next. In between, we swam, waded, climbed and ate on the unofficial beaches. One of them is even called “tent city” – not the ones the students are creating in protest – but this is here on the beach every summer. People move out of their houses and put up tents on the beach. They even bring kitchens and sofas! Of course natural beaches are fun. But they are also a bit scary. Surf pounds and rocks jut and kids have no caution. So a parent struggles with how much to allow them to do and how much to be wary.
It reminded me of a supervisor. There can be a lot of lip service to “empowering subordinates” and delegating authority. But it’s scary. How much do you let your people “play on the rocks?” When is it okay to venture into the surf and when do you need to caution and hold back? These are real dangers. Business is impacted. No one advocates crazy risk. Don’t go too far into the sea – there is a point of no return. But what about the middle ground where we still waver?
Perhaps here we can learn from the Israeli spirit. Many of us are naturally cautious. Some of us learned to be cautious when so much is on the line. Israelis live every day for the thrill of the risk and the payoff when all turns out right. There are more people on the unofficial beaches than on the official ones. And you know what? They are much more beautiful. Wait until you see my pictures.