History buffs. Movie lovers. Go see Darkest Hour, one of the great movies of 2017. A tour de force by Gary Oldman as Sir Winston Churchill.

The history of it all enchanted me, swept me away to a time not so long before my own birth. Two hours of wonderful cinema about Churchill’s courageous stand against other British leaders advocating for peace negotiations while Hitler’s armies marched and flew across Europe, subjugating every country in their path. The British chose to fight. Thank God for Winston Churchill who rallied them.

The story forced me to contemplate the role of Providence in raising up courageous and often common people to meet the most difficult of circumstances. In the process, they are chiseled into selfless servants and great leaders. History is replete with stories of rescues and rescuers. Like Sir Winston, and Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. And then there’s my son, Matt Mizrahi.

What makes a great leader? Leaders change the course of history. Sometimes by affecting the masses…sometimes by helping to transform hearts, one at a time.

Of course, this had been discussed since the dawn of time. WRITE ME BACK WITH SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS!! Mention someone in your life who you think is a great leader and why. A teacher, a friend, someone in your family, or a person like MLK whose courage and vision is renown through the annals of time.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. —Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. —Bill Bradley

Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow. —Chinese Proverb

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. —Eleanor Roosevelt

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. —John Quincy Adams.

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. —Max Lucado

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. —Estée Lauder

Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing. —Mary D. Poole

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. —Dwight D. Eisenhower

I’m mindful of all the small acts of courage, strength, and leadership that take place in the course of a single day.

I mentioned my son, Matthew, because I’m proud of him. Matt is an unassuming man and dedicated teacher who looks fear in the face, Monday through Friday, as he drives to a high school in rough and tumble South Central Los Angeles. His purpose: try to unlock the potential of young students who face so many barriers to success.

I’m not sure Matthew realizes that he has turned his back on the crowd to lead the orchestra, as Max Lucado wrote. His face is unknown to the masses. He will never strive for wealth or status like so many of us in the crowd because…that’s just not him. But I’m certain of one thing: In the distant future, some people who started life as disadvantaged kids, who sat in his classroom intent on learning, will thank God they were players in his orchestra, and will remember Mr. Mizrahi and his knowledge-giving sacrifice.

The legacy of an unknown leader.

When my son becomes discouraged, I hope he will remember this quote:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. —Galatians 6:9