Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Joel Lazer


by Joel Lazer, Lazer Grant LLP, April 3, 2013

[This article was written by  of Lazer Grant LLP Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, www. . Joel will be leading a jewish Federation of Winnipeg mission to Israel October 21 to October 31 [with optional Eilat add on from Oct 29 to Nov 2] 2013. We will have more about the mission and its itinerary in an upcoming issue]


Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer is a book about Israel and the culture that has led it to be a nation of innovation and commercial success. A sampling of results:

× Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country except the United States;

× it has the highest density of start-ups in the world;

× venture capital investment, on a per capita basis, is the highest in the world, as is its research and development expenditures as a percentage of GDP.

About halfway through the book I realized many businesses, if they applied some of the principles Israel has embraced, would be more stable and successful. If you would like to be inspired to read the book and perhaps to consider applying those principles to your organization, watch the video on the book’s website at

Senor and Singer discuss persistence. Successful entrepreneurs are not put off by being told they’re wrong, that it can’t be done. If you have a propensity to think outside the box, likely when you share an idea you will be dismissed. If you’re an entrepreneur you’ll probably just press on. If you’re a subordinate you’re likely to keep the idea to yourself and go back to doing your job. Imagine if we could foster out-of-the-box thinking from all the people we work with and grow their ideas. The example discussed in the book is about Intel and its development of chips which made portable computing a reality.

Chutzpah. We’ve all heard that Yiddish word. My dictionary says it means unbelievable gall, audacity. Chutzpah allows you to challenge the people around you. This applies to people who are senior to you, are junior to you or are your peers. It has the effect of opening the organization so that everyone can contribute with no fear of recrimination. With a chutzpah mindset, you don’t fear rejection and your feelings aren’t easily hurt. With no negative intent, you’re therefore not afraid to question processes nor to suggest improvements. Neither are you afraid of failure. If you take the negative emotion out of the dialogue the results can only be positive.

Military service in Israel develops in young people the empowerment to make life and death decisions in live situations on the fly. In Israel the ratio of officers and soldiers is 1 to 9. In the United States it is 1 to 5. Israel is a very small country surrounded by unfriendly and often threatening countries. Decisions need to be made quickly. The young soldiers are trained to make these decisions. Now imagine taking the principles of that training and applying them to your organization. The results would be better business decisions more quickly and efficiently with greater confidence.

There is a can’t-wait impatience in Israel. It can be summed up as a what’s-the-matter-with-today attitude. There is always a sense of urgency. Urgency gets more things done. With deliberate training and empowerment, the decisions are likely to be healthy and profitable.

Educate, train and empower. Embrace persistence and chutzpah. Accept success and failure, and learn from both. Continue to train and reinforce the empowerment. And do it now. In the words of Israeli guide Ezra Eini, “The impossible only takes a little longer.”

<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • RBC
  • Titi Tijani
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • PC Party
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Orthodox Union
  • Karyn and Mel Lazareck
  • Booke + Partners
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Coughlin Insurance Brokers
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Jim Muir
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Viscont Gort
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Karyn & Mel Lazareck
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Red River Coop
  • Winnipeg Beach Home Building Centre
  • John Wishnowski
  • John Bucklaschuk
  • Tyler Bucklaschuk
  • Ingrid Bennett
  • Gulay Plumbing
  • Nick's Inn
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • Elaine and Ian Goldstine
  • Josef Ryan
  • Western Scrap Metals Inc.
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Simmonds and Associates
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Canada Awakening Ministries
  • Fair Service
  • Dr. Marshall Stitz
  • Shindico
  • Astroid Management Limited
  • Piston Ring
  • Commercial Pool
  • Robin Shapiro Photography
  • Broadway Law Group
  • Sorrento's
  • Roseman Corp
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Equitable Solutions
  • CVA Systems
  • Chochy's
  • Amalgamated Drywall
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Renew Mobility
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Grant Kurian Trucking
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.