The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible


Bible Character: Asher (8th son of Jacob)

Asher actually means to be “happy”! Asher had a lot to be happy about.  On Jacob’s deathbed he said, “Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king”. Genesis 49:20

We all know that being happy at all times is impossible…but…why is it so important for a leader to keep that smile on?

Set the Tone

Studies show that smiling can trick our brains into thinking we are happy, and it can also produce or generate positive emotions in our body. Having more positive emotions should help us in our role as positive leaders.

Who would you rather be around, someone who is smiling and generally happy…or someone who looks somber and is often moody? If a leader comes in with a smile on their face, that helps set the tone for the rest of the organization.


How about salespeople…are potential clients going to be more apt to buy from you if you’re smiling?

My family is in the hospitality business. If someone comes into one of our restaurants to eat it’s our desire that they be met with a smile.  If they’re not, their experience could start negatively…a missed opportunity.

So, that is a personal challenge to our leadership. Did they see me smiling before that customer came through the door?  Probably too often not.

Organizations need to be profitable to survive. Can simply smiling more lead to a better bottom line?  Sometimes it’s a lot of small things that add up to make a profit…smiling is definitely one of them.

If you’re wondering…Asher went onto have a great legacy.

Ref: Rabbi Adam J. Raskin Congregation Har Shalom, Potomac, MD Parashat Vayechi 5773; December 29, 2012  “The Happiest Person in the Bible”


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